Lewis making necessary adjustments
Reliever trying to find late-2008 form and consistency
CLEVELAND -- Jensen Lewis had the raspy voice of a frustrated fan."I lost my voice watching the NFL Draft," Lewis joked. "I was yelling at the Browns every time they traded down." Lewis has more than his beloved, pick-swapping Browns and his lost voice to worry about. He's also trying to find his late-2008 form and consistency. In nine appearances this season, Lewis has shown occasional flashes of being the guy who saved 13 games for the Tribe down the stretch last season. Unfortunately for the Indians, he has also shown flashes of being the guy who posted a 6.35 ERA last April. The good news is that Lewis' stuff isn't what it was a year ago, when the October 2007 hangover got the best of him and his fastball. This year, his low-90s velocity has been intact, but the results -- six earned runs, four homers and six walks allowed in 9 2/3 innings -- haven't met his or the Tribe's expectations. "It's more about adjustments for me," he said. "Guys have seen me now, so they have a better idea of what I'm trying to do. And I think teams are approaching our bullpen differently. They don't want to face Kerry [Wood] in the ninth, so they have to attack us." It's been a two-faced season for Lewis thus far. He was instrumental in a pair of wins over the Royals last week, getting the hold in an 8-7 win on April 21 and working two scoreless innings to get the 5-2 win two days later. On the flip side, he served up two game-winning homers in the Bronx earlier this month, and he let two inherited runners across in the seventh inning of Sunday's 4-2 win over the Twins. Lewis said that he has to make some adjustments in how he attacks hitters, but he's encouraged by the fact that his stuff isn't lacking. "I put a foundation in place in Spring Training, and my stuff has translated a lot earlier this year," he said. "I understand the length of the season. You can't let a few bad outings get to you."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.