Colby Lewis is hearing it from fans for his questionable comments after Saturday's game that can only be due to personal frustration.
Lewis got into it with an opposing Colby - Colby Rasmus of the Blue Jays after Rasmus laid down a bunt in the fifth inning of a 2-0 game. With Toronto already up 2-0 and with two outs in the inning, Lewis did not think Rasmus' etiquette fell within what is proper baseball conduct.
"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 told ESPN.com.
Lewis has not seen a whole lot of people come out of the woodwork to defend him on this case. As most will likely agree that a bunt in a two-run game is perfectly justified and that there being two outs in an inning really does not have much to do with anything. In fact, Rasmus trying to extend the inning and manufacture a run with two outs likely falls under the category of a smart baseball play.
But what is truly puzzling in this situation are Lewis' comments regarding the defensive shift. To me at least, a team shifting on defense is somewhat equivalent to an offensive team stealing or bunting. If a game reaches a point where the etiquette says to play it out without any "funny business," offenses will stop playing small ball and often defenses will stop shifting. The fact that Texas stayed in the shift certainly indicated that it was still playing as if the game were competitive, which it was.
Moreover, being susceptible to a bunt is really the single-biggest weakness of the shift, and a weakness that offensive players need to have at their disposal in order to help combat it. If a defense shifts, the offensive player should have all the free reign in the world to lay down a bunt. But Lewis seems to see it the other way. In his comments, he said that Rasmus was out of line to lay down a bunt because the Rangers were shifting - as if he was obligated to swing away and hit it into the shift.
Rasmus' bunt was successful, but the Blue Jays didn't score in the inning. The small confrontation happened as the two crossed paths walking off the field. And though Lewis' comments were probably due to his frustration after giving up a hit, and eventually losing the game, it's not winning him over many fans.
The Blue Jays went on to win the game 4-1.
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