If the Texas Rangers are going to win the 2010 World Series, it will no longer rest with Cliff Lee (who lost the first game). Instead, it’s now squarely on the shoulders of the other ace, Colby Lewis.

Assuming that the two teams were reasonably competitive, San Francisco was going to win at least Game 2 at home against C.J. Wilson in AT&T Park. The fact that the Giants also won Game 1 shows that they are VERY competitive.

Making the “competitive” assumption implies that the Rangers will win at least two out of three in Arlington. Those two games will likely be Game 3 pitched by Lewis and Game 5 pitched by Lee, both at home. Game 4, with Tommy Hunter starting, is the question mark.

If the Giants win one out of three in Texas, they will have a decided advantage, needing only to split the remaining two games and facing Wilson, whom they’ve already beaten in Game 6. If the Rangers win all three games at home, they’d be leading 3-2, but with the onus of playing on the road. Their situation would be like that of a backgammon player leading a “race” by four “pips” (versus an average roll of eight), but with the other player on roll.

Let’s say that the tally is 3-3 at the end of six, either by the Rangers sweeping three at home and losing Game 6, or less likely, winning Game 6 after losing one at home. Then it would be Colby Lewis in Game 7 against Jonathan Sanchez with the Rangers on the road for the tiebreaker.

Having demonstrated why it (almost) HAS to be Lewis, I will now show why it CAN be Lewis. He now has the Ranger starters’ best postseason ERA, 1.45. The Giants have pitched to a 2.46 ERA in the postseason. Lewis can beat this while Lee couldn’t in his meltdown in Game 1.

At age 31, Lewis is the other highly experienced starter on the roster and doesn’t pitch appreciably worse on the road than at home, a sign of that experience. Having spent two years in Japan, he may also have a different experience than the average American pitcher. If anything, that could at least make him harder for batters to “read.”

There are no guarantees that Lewis will pull the Rangers chestnuts out of the fire or that his team will get the World Series to Game 7 to give him the chance. However, if Lewis can’t do it, no one else on the team probably will either.




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