Friday, October 15, 2010

Colby Lewis vs. Phil Hughes

The starters in Game 2 of the ALCS will be Phil Hughes (Yankees) and Colby Lewis (Rangers).  Phil Hughes did go 18-8, but he had a 4.19 ERA and inconsistent most of the season.  Colby Lewis was in his first season in the ML since 2007, after having played in Japan the last few seasons, and he had a rollercoaster season as well.

Lewis' final numbers (12-13, 3.72) were worse than you would have expected a few months into the season (8-5, 3.33 at All-Star Break).  He had some ugly outings late in the season, particularly against Minnesota on September 4th, when he allowed 9 ER over 3.2 IP.  The good news for the Rangers is that Lewis rebounded in his final 5 regular season starts, going 3-1 with a 2.39 ERA  He also pitched 5 scoreless innings against the Rays in game 3 of the ALDS.

Colby Lewis
Overall: 12-13, 3.72 ERA, 196 SO, 65 BB
Home: 6-4, 3.41 ERA, 30 SO, 7 BB

Phil Hughes had a sterling 18-8 record this season, but he struggled in the 2nd half, going 7-6 with a 4.90 ERA.  The Yankees have to be feeling good about Hughes now because of his excellent start against the Twins in the ALDS clincher, where he had 7 scoreless innings in his first postseason start (after 11 postseason relief appearances).  It was the first time he had at least 7 innings since July 9th, covering 13 starts.

Phil Hughes
Overall: 18-8, 4.19 ERA, 146 SO, 58 BB
Road: 7-4, 3.46 ERA, 63 SO, 19 BB

Who has the advantage?  They seem to be pretty even right now, but a lot of pressure would fall on Lewis after what might be a devastating loss tonight for the Rangers (it's not a good sign when you make 4 pitching changes in the 8th inning before getting an out, although they are still only down by 1 run). 

Lewis has gone through a lot in his career and succeeded (including a good postseason debut), but facing the Yankees in a must-win game in the ALCS is another story.  If the Rangers come back tonight, they'll still feel like it's must-win, but so will the Yankees (especially with Cliff Lee waiting for them in Game 3).  It should be a good battle between two pitchers with a lot to prove.

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