For some odd reason the Boston Red Sox offense likes to go into a temporary state of paralysis when their teammate Jon Lester takes the hill every fifth day. They have averaged a mere 4 runs per game during his starts this season, the lowest of any Red Sox pitcher with 10 or more starts. He has also left five starts this year with the lead only to watch it slip away soon after his departure. Today however was a much different story. One of a very positive and much needed variety.
Jonny come lately went six strong innings allowing only 1ER on 3 hits while striking out a season high 12 batters en route to a 14-1 Red Sox victory. He was out of his element today, (which in this context is a good thing regarding his lackluster 2012 season) getting a lot of swings and misses with his four seamer and his deadly cutter that has been his most dangerous pitch in years past. The only problem I had is his pitch count continues to be a problem he can’t overcome early in his starts. He had already thrown 22 pitches after the 1st inning when ideally you want to be closer to 13-15 pitches an inning early on so that you can go deeper into the game. It did not matter today as the Sox lineup exploded with 8 runs in the fifth inning making Lester’s services not needed much past the next inning. In his post game press conference Lester had said “his curveball was his out pitch today” and that he “would have liked to have gone an inning or two deeper than have the 12K’s. “ In most cases I would agree that having him go seven or eight innings with only six or seven strikeouts would be more ideal than going only five or six innings with 12, but Lester is a power pitcher that gains an immense amount of confidence when he accrues a high amount of K’s in the box score. With that being said, today’s start was perfect for him to build off of for his future outings during the rest of the season. Unfortunately, striking out 12 against the pedestrian lineup Cleveland puts out there is not the truest test to be able to assess if Red Sox Nation’s favorite lefty has shaken off his pitching woes, but nonetheless this should help him and the rest of his team gain some self-belief that he can get it done as he has so often in years past. If his competitive fire that he has shown so often in his tenure in Boston has taught us anything, it’s that he will be licking his chops until his next scheduled start against the hated New York Yankees on Saturday afternoon. A seven plus inning 10 strikeout performance against one of the league’s most dangerous lineups would go a long way in exhibiting that Lester has turned the corner and has put his problematic past behind him.
About the Author
Written by Jefferson Mills
I am a 22 year old aspiring sports journalist. I graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and was born and raised in Norwood, MA, twenty minutes south of the great city of Boston. Sports consume my life in every which way as I have been an athlete since the age of 8 playing organized football, baseball and basketball throughout high school and have been an avid die-hard Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics fan. I Interned for the "Mecca of Sports Radio" WFAN 660 AM while in college and also interned for News 12 Long Island. Working as a member of the hardest working sports department in one of the most talented college radio stations 88.7 FM WRHU is the one thing I am most proud of when it comes to my work in the field. My passion and work ethic define who I am as a writer, person and friend which is why I hope to become successful in the sports Broadcasting spectrum in years to come.