It's safe to say Colby Lewis has figured out whatever was ailing him in the first month of the season.
While pitching the first shutout of his career Monday, Lewis simply was taking the next step in what has been a steady progression of success over the past three weeks since finding command of his fastball. Lewis allowed just five hits -- and none in the first four innings -- on the way to a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox.
It was the fourth consecutive game in which Lewis has pitched into the eighth or longer. He's allowed six runs in those games, four of which have come on solo homers. In the four-game span, he has a 1.67 ERA.
While there were concerns about his velocity during a rough April, Lewis maintained that his only real issue was a lack of fastball command. When that returned, he said, it would make his entire repertoire more effective. That certainly seems to be the case lately. In his May 10 outing, he relied heavily on the fastball all game to beat Oakland. On Monday, he got ahead of the aggressive White Sox with the fastball, which made his sharpest slider of the year and a commendable changeup much more effective.
Lewis threw 110 pitches in the shutout Monday, but only 47 were fastballs. He threw more off-speed pitches: 27 sliders and 24 changeups.
"As a pitcher, you've got to be able to make an adjustment," Lewis said. "Last week, the slider and change weren't that good, but the fastball has gotten progressively better. No matter what you try to do, if your fastball location is good, it's going to make every other pitch better."
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