In his start against the Baltimore Orioles on May 10th, Texas Rangers righty Colby Lewis experienced really high highs and really low lows.
He started the game by giving up back-to-back-to-back home runs, the first time such a thing had ever happened in the American League. Lewis then settled into a groove, ultimately striking out 12 hitters in seven innings of work. But before he left, he gave up two more home runs and ultimately lost the game.
Lewis' start against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday was just as strange, albeit in a much different way. He went through low lows again, but he wasn't quite able to achieve any high highs.
The first inning was absolutely brutal for Lewis. He allowed four runs on four hits, and he shot himself in the foot by making a throwing error and by hitting Mike Moustakas with a pitch.
Lewis was unable to settle down in the second inning. He committed yet another throwing error, and it led to another run on the board for the Royals thanks to an RBI double from the underrated Billy Butler.
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News was quick to point out that errors have been a little too common for Lewis since 2010:
Colby Lewis has committed 10 errors since he returned to U.S. in 2010, tied with A..J. Burnett, Clayton Richard for most among MLB pitchers.— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) May 16, 2012
If you require a moving-pictures highlight of Lewis' gaffes, head over to MLB.com. But be warned: This is the kind of stuff that gives Tom Emanski fits.
Lewis would go on to give up a leadoff home run to Moustakas in the third inning that gave the Royals a commanding 6-0 advantage. He threw his final pitch with two outs in the sixth inning, and it was hit for an RBI double off the bat of Eric Hosmer after Lewis had walked Jarrod Dyson.
All told, Lewis ended up with a pretty ugly pitching line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR.
Should pitchers be charged with earned runs when their own errors lead to runs?
This pitching line is further support for the notion that pitchers should be charged with earned runs when it's them making the errors. Lewis was very much responsible for his own fate on Tuesday, but you'd never be able to tell by looking at his respectable 3.63 ERA.
That 3.63 ERA, by the way, is up from 1.93. Lewis has given up at least six runs (14 earned) in each of his last three starts, all losses. He's in a funk, and his start on Tuesday represents the low point of it so far.
I shall honor this low point the only way I know how: by bestowing American League "Worst of the Night" honors on Lewis.
Pitchers have a tendency to walk away with the award, and it's usually because they pitch poorly. Plain and simple.
Lewis is getting it due to both poor pitching and poor fielding. To boot, I don't like his beard, and I'm a man who generally likes beards.
If you ever want to nominate somebody for "Worst of the Night" honors, you can hit me up on Twitter.