HOUSTON -- As a packed house at Minute Maid Park cheered a potential rally-starting line drive off the bat of star Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, something amazing happened.The seemingly sure single caromed off the pitcher, Texas' Colby Lewis, leading to an instant of stunned concern. But in the blink of
HOUSTON -- As a packed house at Minute Maid Park cheered a potential rally-starting line drive off the bat of star Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, something amazing happened.
The seemingly sure single caromed off the pitcher, Texas' Colby Lewis, leading to an instant of stunned concern. But in the blink of an eye, something more stunning occurred.
The ball, which never touched the ground, was caught beyond second base and in the outfield grass by the Rangers' Rougned Odor.
Correa was out. All he could do was simultaneously tip his cap and turn his attention to concern for Lewis, who took the 101-mph liner off a fortunately very tough part of his head.
What everybody witnessed next was straight out of a John Wayne movie. Lewis stayed in, finished the surreal seventh inning and his scoreless outing in a game the Rangers won, 2-1.
"I felt it a little bit," Lewis said. "Your eyes kind of shake a little bit and then I came right to. I turned and saw the ball in the air and I was worried about the out, yelling at Rougie to get the out."
After the out was recorded, all attention was on Lewis, who remarkably seemed unfazed. The entire Rangers infield, head trainer Kevin Harmon and manager Jeff Banister huddled around Lewis while Correa, taken aback at the way he was retired, also showed concern for Lewis.
"It's baseball," Correa said. "Baseball is tough. I thought it was a hit, for sure, and all of a sudden it's a popup to the second baseman."
Added Banister: "He finished the inning; he's a tough man. Of all the things that Colby has been through, it was a little bit of a scary moment. ... We don't expect him to be so tough that he takes one off his nugget and continues to pitch."
But Lewis remained in the game anyway, finishing the inning and his night by striking out Colby Rasmus and getting Colin Moran on a groundout after Evan Gattis' single.
"You're pumped up in that situation. You shake the other stuff off and get back to work," Lewis said. "I felt like I had the rest of the game."
Lewis completed seven scoreless frames, allowing only four hits while striking out six and walking none. He improved to 3-0 and has lasted at least seven innings in five straight starts.
Before he was hit in the head, Lewis had already made a highlight-reel play an inning earlier. With his glove, the righty, in one motion, scooped up what looked like a sure infield hit for the speedy Kemp and smoothly shoveled the ball to first baseman Mitch Moreland in plenty of time for the out.
Just like the shot he took minutes later, Lewis made an astonishing play look routine.
"On a scale of 1-10, probably an 11," Banister said of the play. "Especially for Colby, a guy that -- he's not really fast. To get over and backhand flip to first base. It's a scoop and right to Mitch, blindly flip it to him, that's as hard as it gets."
It all made for a remarkable night in Houston, where he continued his dominance of the Astros in his 100th career win. Against the Astros in his career, he's 10-1 with a 2.39 ERA in 94 1/3 innings. He's also 7-0 at Minute Maid Park.
Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com.