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Rangers change rotation, will start Colby Lewis in Game 2

Oct 18, 2011, 3:44 PM EDT

Colby Lewis

Derek Holland‘s struggles in the ALCS have convinced the Rangers to juggle their rotation, with manager Ron Washington announcing that Colby Lewis will start Game 2 of the World Series against the Cardinals.

Texas stuck with the same rotation in the ALDS and ALCS, with C.J. Wilson followed by Holland, Lewis, and Matt Harrison. Washington hasn’t announced yet who’ll start Game 3 and Game 4, so Holland may end up simply being bumped back a game or two.

Holland lasted just 2.2 innings in Game 2 of the ALCS versus Detroit and was yanked from Game 6 after 4.2 innings, allowing seven runs in seven innings overall. Lewis wasn’t a whole lot better in his lone ALCS start, allowing four runs over 5.2 innings in Game 3, but tossed six innings of one-run ball versus the Rays in the ALDS.

  1. dodger88 - Oct 18, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Sometimes the extra days off between series give manager’s too much freedom to jumble things up. We know that most pitchers struggle on short rest but too much rest can cause problems as well, plus pitchers in general are creatures of habit. Unless there is a significant advantage, flipping the rotation from series to series is asking for trouble. I recall in 2009 the Dodgers went with Wolf, Kershaw and Padilla in games 1-3 respectively of the NLDS and swept the series. Instead of sticking with it, they flipped Wolf & Kershaw and ended up losing in 5 games. I am not saying that alone was the cause but I don’t think it helped. I don’t see how flipping Lewis and Holland creates a significant advantage.

    • Joe - Oct 18, 2011 at 4:14 PM

      The Phillies mixed up their rotation in that series, too. It worked out OK for them.

  2. spudchukar - Oct 18, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    At first this seemed like a good move, since the Cards hammer lefties, but after a little consideration I consider it unwise. Here is why. The Cards do not have the DH at home, and their DH will be Craig (as in Allen). The 3 games in Texas will now feature 3 lefties, meaning St. Louis will be able to employ him in each game.

    They could even go with Tyler Greene in CF and Theriot at 2B, which would create an all right-handed starting 9. As good as the Ranger offense is, I would take the Red Birds in this scenario. Not only does it aid the Cards in the DH department, it means that Holland would be slated for Game 7.

  3. artisan3m - Oct 18, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    Holland has had some rocky starts in the playoffs ~ but I don’t write him off as a potential non-factor. He did post a 16-5 regular season record with 4 shutouts. I think Wash has made the right decision ~ Holland has a better chance of showing up in Arlington than in St. Louis before a hostile crowd. Lewis is more mature, better seasoned, and may be the best of the starters right now. Frankly, I’m more worried about Wilson stumbling out of the blocks in Game 1. He hasn’t been anything to write home about so far in the post-season. I believe very strongly that the Game 1 winner will win the series.

  4. gt929 - Oct 18, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    Really, the ‘change’ was made before the ALDS to give Lewis the starts on the road. His 2011 home ERA- 5.54, road- 3.43. While all of the Ranger starters’ home ERAs are higher than their road, Lewis’s was the biggest split. It was also thought that Holland, being younger and less experienced, would be more comfortable at home. Wash is just continuing this pattern.

    • gt929 - Oct 18, 2011 at 8:48 PM

      That said, as a Ranger fan, I think I’d rather see Harrison pitch Game 3. If it comes down to it, I’d rather have him in Game 7 than Holland. And though Ogando & Feldman have been brilliant from the bullpen, I wouldn’t mind either of them replacing Holland in the rotation to counter the Cards preference for lefties.

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