One Night Only: Awesome Is Their Middle Name

There’s no place like home, America — especially if your home has a sweet TV in it with the Extra Innings package.

Texas at Seattle | Friday, April 30 | 10:10 pm ET
Starting Pitchers
Rangers: Colby Lewis (R)
23.2 IP, 10.65 K/9, 4.56 BB/9, .317 BABIP, 36.7% GB, 8.3% HR/FB, 3.91 xFIP
Projected FIP: N/A (FAN) 3.99 (CHONE) 4.39 (ZiPS)

Mariners: Cliff Lee (L)
231.2 IP, 7.03 K/9, 1.67 BB/9, .326 BABIP, 41.3% GB, 6.5% HR/FB, 3.69 xFIP (2009)
Projected FIP: 3.16 (FAN) 3.43 (CHONE) 3.47 (ZiPS)

Persons of Interest
For the majority of tonight’s game, the Safeco Field mound will be occupied by a POI (that’s Person of Interest, people — get with it) to the Baseballing Enthusiast. Let me count the ways.

If spilling ink were a possible thing to happen on this wild and beautiful series of tubes we call the internet, then that’s exactly what you’d say this author has done in re Colby Frigging Lewis. And while I’ve been mistaken more often for developmental psychologist Howard Gardner than I have for a real-live Baseball Talent Evaluator, I’m thinking that maybe my very emphatic support for Lewis has earned me some kind of credibility in that area.

So, that’s one thing.

Another thing is how tonight represents the first start of the season for Prize of the Offseason Cliff Lee. Our very own Dave Allen wrote the killerest article about Lee in the Mariners Annual. Rather than reproducing it here in full, allow me to summarize for you: Cliff Lee is off the hizzy.

Want something more specific? You gots it: the cool thing about Cliff Lee is his location. His change-up, almost without exception, is in the low-away quadrant of the strike zone against righties; his cutter, almost always right on a righty’s hands. If hitting is timing and pitching is messing up timing, then Cliff Lee is awesome.

Five Bizarre Connections Between Colby Lewis and Cliff Lee
Put away those Ouija boards, kids, and prepare to get your minds freaked. Behold these five bizarre connections between tonight’s starters.

1. Both pitchers have two first names.
2. Both have the initials C.P.L. (Colby Preston Lewis, Clifton Phifer Lee.)
3. Both pitchers have pitched in the East: Lee in the NL East, Lewis in the Far.
4. Owing to the fact that they’re both so nasty, neither Lewis nor Lee has ever, in fact, kissed his mother with that mouth.
5. Lewis’s secretary was named Kennedy; Lee’s, Lincoln. Don’t even look it up, it’s true. You’ve got the Cistulli Guarantee on that.

Other Players Will Be There Tonight, Too
And all of them will probably strike out.

If I Had My Druthers
• Colby Lewis would steal fire from the gods and give it to humans.
• Colby Lewis would fashion all humankind from clay.
• Colby Lewis would continue to pitch out of his mind, thus validating my continued presence on this, the internet’s clearinghouse for baseball nerdom.

We hoped you liked reading One Night Only: Awesome Is Their Middle Name by Carson Cistulli!

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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So tell me if this is crazy: For 5×5 H2H fantasy, I’m planning on trading Cliff Lee for Ichiro and picking up Lewis off the waiver wire. My team desperately needs some runs and AVG, while I’m stocked at pitching and, primarily because of this site, think the drop-off to Lewis won’t be too severe. Thoughts?

Jason B
Jason B

Someone would trade Ichiro for Cliff Lee??