Of all the pleasant stories for the Colorado Rockies in the first month and change of the 2014 season, the emergence of starting pitcher Jordan Lyles has to rank as the most surprising.
Lyles has been nothing short of fantastic, even taking a brief swipe at a Coors Field complete game before being pulled in the 9th inning on Monday night in the team’s 8-2 victory over the Texas Rangers. With the win he is now 4-0 with a 2.62 ERA in seven starts.
There will still be changes yet in the Rockies rotation as the season wears on, but right now Lyles is making his case to be a fixture there. Go figure.
Here’s what other folks are saying about Lyles after another outstanding performance Monday night.
The night would belong to starting pitcher Jordan Lyles however as he dominated the Rangers lineup from start to finish. The right-hander would throw eight spectacular Monday night, giving up seven hits, two runs, two earned, one walk while striking out five. He would give up a leadoff single to Adrian Beltre in the ninth as Walt Weisswasted no time, pulling him for reliever Nick Masset who made his Rockies debut.”
It’s a scenario that is perfect for Lyles, whose strength is a sinker, and, as Rockies manager Walt Weiss explained, ‘a very talented arm.’
And it was that arm, not his career 14-29 win-loss record and 5.35 ERA over the three previous seasons in Houston that had the Rockies make sure they got the 23-year-old Lyles, along with outfielder Brandon Barnes, from Houston in the offseason trade for center fielder Dexter Fowler.
‘When you get an opportunity to get an arm like this, at this age, you take it,’ said Weiss. ‘There’s a whole lot of reason to like the kid even though he had his struggles at a young age.’
At just 23-years-old and 72 appearances coming into the season, it may simply be the fact that Lyles was forced to jump into the deep end before he knew how to swim. He was learning on the job and was struggling like many young pitchers do. With a terrible Astros team behind him, his margin for error was slim. Suddenly, a trade to the Rockies may have reinvigorated him. He may have received a shot of confidence from the fact that another team wanted him and was willing to trade someone with the talent of Dexter Fowler to get him.”
Last night, the Rockies turned four more double plays, three of them behind Lyles, who pitched eight innings of two-run ball. The Rangers went 1-for-14 when they skimmed the ball on the dirt. Only four of Lyles’ 24 outs came through the air.”