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For some reason, Colby Lewis is upset that Colby Rasmus bunted

Jul 19, 2014, 9:20 PM EDT

colby lewis rangers getty Getty Images

Baseball’s book of unwritten rules just got a little fatter and a little more unkempt. In a battle of Colbys, Rangers starter Colby Lewis is upset that Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus laid down a bunt with his team up 2-0 with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning of Saturday’s game. Rasmus placed the ball to the third base side of the mound and reached safely, but was stranded after Dan Johnson struck out.

Lewis took the loss as the Rangers fell 4-1. He allowed two runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out five in five innings of work. He is now 6-7 with a 6.37 ERA and a 78/29 K/BB ratio in 89 innings over 17 starts.

Lewis explained why he took offense to the bunt after the game. Via’s Chris Toman:

“I told [Rasmus] I didn’t appreciate it,” Lewis said. “You’re up by two runs with two outs and you lay down a bunt. I don’t think that’s the way the game should be played.”

When pressed further on what the problem with Rasmus’ bunt was, Lewis insinuated that the outfielder put himself before his team.

“I felt like you have a situation where there is two outs, you’re up two runs, you have gotten a hit earlier in the game off me, we are playing the shift, and he laid down a bunt basically simply for average,” Lewis said.

Lewis also explained that, because Rasmus didn’t attempt to steal on either of the first two pitches Lewis threw to Johnson, Rasmus was simply looking to pad his batting average. Following the game, in which he went 2-for-4, Rasmus is batting .223. He has yet to attempt to steal a base this season.

Lewis could have been steaming from the beating he took at the hands of the Angels on July 10. He allowed 13 runs in 2 1/3 innings in his final start before the All-Star break. One thing is for sure: his line of reasoning sure doesn’t make any sense. If Rangers pitchers don’t want to deal with bunts, then they shouldn’t be employing infield shifts. Rasmus was doing what he felt gave him the best chance to reach base and thus give his team the best chance of padding the lead.

  1. psly2124 - Jul 20, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    Colby Lewis new rule. When ahead by 2 runs batters must only swing at balls . Batters are not allowed on base . If by chance with two out a batter does get on base he must be immediately picked off not allowing another batter go swing. If player then gets greedy and tries to score a run the other team will be awarded two runs for cheating . It Colby Lewis’s unwritten rule

  2. eagles512 - Jul 20, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    I will root against Lewis every start from now on. What a whiny baby.

    • bender4700 - Jul 20, 2014 at 8:13 PM

      I take exception to these overpaid clowns who are worse than children. TWO RUN LEAD? What a loser.

  3. fansrus - Jul 20, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    Ever watch Yankees’ Texiera gat against the shift? Pathetic? Inflexible. Rigid. Counterproductive. Don’t understand why he or his manager or hitting coach can’t figure out that if you lay down a bunt or push the ball to the left side of the infield, at the least, you’re letting the other team know you can do that. Maybe then, duh, the other team modifies the shift for future at bats and it becomes a win for the shifted-on batter. You hear that Texiera? Maybe your batting average will improve to, I don’t know, .250?

    • paperlions - Jul 20, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      Bunting MLB pitching is harder than you think it is…..many pitchers practice bunting for years and still have a hard time with sac bunts….bunting for a hit is even harder. Most guys don’t bunt against the shift because they are crappy bunters and don’t want to give away the strike for a low percentage chance at a bunt single.

      • redwing429 - Jul 20, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        Paper lions, your are correct that most guys in MLB are crappy banters. But this certainly should not be! There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for them to be crappy banters. More and more practice! It is a key element of offensive strategy and every player in the lineup (1-9) should be a proficient bunter and practice it often (just like they do hitting). They get paid a lot of $ and there’s simply no excuse for not being able to execute a good bunt most of the time. If the pitcher throws high and tight in that situation, pull the bat back (and eventually walk), take a HBP, etc. Have you ever noticed that excellent bunting adds a different element to the game, and it often freaks our the defense so they rush the ball and throw away, rush it to field it, etc. The bunt makes things happen more often than people realize. I live in Chico, CA. I realize it’s college ball, but the manager we had for 13 years (2 NCAA II national championships, a .701 winning % over 13 years before now coaching at University of Washington). Coach Meggs demanded that every guy in the lineup (even cleanup hitter) be a very proficient bunter. If they couldn’t bunt, he wouldn’t play them. It brought the element that everybody (even cleanup hitter) could bunt at any time in any given situation. There is no excuse for any player on the major leagues to not be able to lay down a good bunt when asked. And then if the 1st or 3rd baseman charges too hard, pull the bat back and use the butcher boy play. I can almost guarantee you that you’d see higher on-base #’s with more bunting utilized. Go look at Steve Garvey’s (a power hitter) high success at laying down a bunt in his career. Pete Rose had a very high career avg when he bunted. Brett Butler very high success rate. These success #’s bunting were MUCH higher than their batting averages. All I’m saying is that bunting is the ultimate offensive team weapon to manufacture runs. And in my 54 years, I’ve seen a lot more succes by using it than people realize! We should see more bunting in baseball, it less (in my opinion).

  4. Ayase Yano (綾瀬市 矢野) - Jul 20, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    What the hell is with this “unwritten rule” nonsense!? We play the sport for entertainment! What the f*** is wrong with you bi*** so called “Major Leaguers”? And you call yourself the best league in the “WORLD” when your league is composed of whiny pu*****!? HA!!


  5. twinfan24 - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Beyond ridiculous! A pitcher complaining about how someone chooses to get a hit in a 2 run game with 4 innings to go? That is still a close game. I think it’s silly when the complain even when it is a much larger later lead, because you never can be 100% sure in baseball. There have been teams that have come from behind from huge deficits late. But, Colby just sounds mad that he wasn’t thinking it a possibility and didn’t field his position well to get the out.

    • thisdamnbox - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      Agreed…A 2-run lead is a walk/hit and a dinger from a tie game (or a myriad of other situations). 4 innings to go? The Rangers’ position players should smack Lewis for his lack of confidence in them. Great freakin’ job, Rasmus…I’m so sick of The Shift that I think it’s akin to steroids, as far as cheating is concerned…

  6. fansrus - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Back to my Texiera comment. Doesn’t matter if the guy can bunt or not. If you’re a professional, let alone one making $20 million plus per year, you learn, you adjust to help your team anyway you can. Give up an AB or two? Push the ball towards third base. Stick out your bat. Learn how to do this or bunt. My point is, put the thought into the other teams game plan that you can or might do this. If this happens, then maybe they relax or modify the shift so that you can have more of the field to work with. Word gets around the league fast. Does it matter if Texiera hits .238 or .236? Take one, or two for the team, and help yourself out in the long run. Otherwise, you are of little use, especially since his defense is not even close to what it used to be. Baseball Reference should have a column entitled “Formerly good players who are now Stealing Money.”

    • redwing429 - Jul 20, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      Excellent comment! That’s my point. If the defense knows you’re a good bunter (as EVERY MLB player should be), they wouldn’t use the shift. Having that extra bunting skill would mess with the defense’s head, keep them on their toes thinking is this guy gonna bunt or not. I love the fact that the Blue Jays (and I’m a Giants fan) bunted in that situation. That’s precisely what he should have done. Just good fundamental baseball!

  7. zinger99 - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Living in the south has rubbed off on Colby. Just stupid…

  8. bender4700 - Jul 20, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    If the athletes are paid, there is no “running up the score”. Learn to take it or go home, wuss.

    Two run lead? Seriously. What a complete pansy. He doesn’t deserve the check he cashes.

  9. yahmule - Jul 20, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    Nobody promoted this stuff more than Nolan Ryan.

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