Found July 24, 2013 on
Sorry about that headline.
It implies that I have some idea how the de facto ace of the Red Sox returned to form. I don't.
The fact is, Jon Lester finally was himself last night when he pitched six-and-a-third innings, gave up seven hits and held a very strong Tampa Bay Rays lineup to just two runs en route to a 6-2 Red Sox victory.
The southpaw from Washington state struck out eight and walked nary a Rays batter.
In eight previous starts, dating back to a June 6 game against the Rangers, Lester pitched an average of about five-and-a-half innings. In those games, he produced an average of just over six K's. The pitch count, 96, was down last night, too.
One clue as to why Lester looked like the guy that started the season 5-0: Extra rest. In his previous starts, he had been working on 4-5 days rest. Against the Rays at Fenway Park last night, Lester was working on nine days rest.
Another clue? Pitch selection. The Boston Globe reports Lester relied less on his usual go-to out pitch - the cutter.
"I think if you talk to anybody that's going to face me, that's always
in the back of their mind as far as the pitch I'm going to try and get
you out with," Lester told the Globe. "If you're able to maybe show it a
little earlier, and show some pitches that you normally don't throw
later in the count, you get some mis-hits or some swing-and-misses. It's
a game of adjustments. You always have to constantly make adjustments,
and we're doing it right now."
Whatever it was, Lester earned his ninth win of the season. And the Red Sox are going to need the lefty, who should be the team's best pitcher, to step up and continue his dominance this season.
It looks like it's going to be awhile before Clay Buchholz returns to the mound. Fill-ins like Brandon Workman are still inexperienced. There are going to be some mistakes made.
All is good for now, though.
BEST OF MAXIM
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)This was the Jon Lester we knew and loved at the start of the 2013 season. Throwing strikes, showing command, lasting into the seventh inning. Lester went 6 1/3 innings, giving up just two runs, striking out eight and—significantly—walking nobody in a 6-2 win by the Carmine Hose. A mixture of good and bad baserunning characterized the Boston offense....
Extra rest helped Jon Lester slow down the Tampa Bay surge that nearly knocked Boston out of first place.
After his start was pushed back two days, Lester matched his season high with eight strikeouts and overcame homers by Wil Myers and Evan Longoria as the Red Sox won 6-2 on Tuesday night and moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Rays in the AL East.
This game was more important than...
As they head into August in a battle for the American League East, pitching is their biggest question mark. They’ve lost two closers to injuries and their best starter, Clay Buchholz, hasn’t pitched since June 8. The situation puts even more pressure on Lester, the man on the mound last night.
Lester has been as inconsistent as New England weather this season, and though he...
Dustin Pedroia will remain in Boston for the foreseeable future, but there's still some uncertainty surrounding one of the team's other stars.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who has turned his year around following a slow start, is slated to become a free agent after this season. And while there's certainly a possibility that Ellsbury will follow in Pedroia's footsteps and sign...
We all knew that Jose Iglesias would come back down to earth at some point. We just didn’t know how rough the landing would be.
Iglesias entered July hitting .409 (54-for-132) after a stellar June earned him American League Rookie of the Month honors. As expected, Iglesias has cooled off, but the drop-off has been so drastic that we’re left wondering what exactly the Red Sox...
Boston Red Sox Daily links: ESPN Boston http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogpost?blogname=bostonred-sox&id=29318 In his first 2 MLB starts Brandon Workman has proved he belongs. WEEI http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2013/07/23/source-dustin-pedroia-red-sox-agree-to-seven-year-contract-extension/ It looks like the Sox have Pedey for a while now...
David Ross won’t find his name penciled into the Red Sox’ lineup until at least mid August. But the veteran catcher is back with his teammates, and his presence alone could make a difference.
Ross hasn’t played since June 14, as he’s currently on the 60-day disabled list because of a concussion. And even when he has been on the field this season, the 36-year-old has endured...
Red Sox righthander Clay Buchholz was in Gulf Breeze, Fla., today to meet with Dr. James Andrews. The verdict? Dr. Andrews agrees with the Red Sox that Buchholz has only inflammation in the bursa sac of his shoulder and can pitch without fear of further injury.
“Clay comes back, I think, with a little bit more peace of mind and he’ll continue on the throwing program that’s...
Dustin Pedroia will get to dirty up many more
Red Sox uniforms with his eight-year deal.
(Photo courtesy of Boston.com)
During Terry Francona’s time as manager of the Boston Red Sox, it was no secret that he and Dustin Pedroia had built more than just a manager-player relationship. From playing cribbage on flights and before games to the constant...
After watching Tuesday’s 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays from the dugout, Jacoby Ellsbury is back in the lineup Wednesday in his typical leadoff spot for the Red Sox.
Ellsbury will be followed in the order by Shane Victorino, who gets the start in right field. Victorino has been in a bit of a slump over the past few weeks — notching just five hits in his last 24 at-bats — but...
With Clay Buchholz's injury keeping him out for longer than expected, the Boston Red Sox are looking for reinforcements. They want to maintain their hold on first place, and they are willing to make trades to do so. One such trade that has been discussed is a deal that would send Will Middlebrooks to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Jake Peavy.
Scott Merkin of...
Photo Courtesy of CSNNE
Be prepared, Red Sox Nation. Jacoby Ellsbury probably won't be in a Red Sox uniform next season. His agent is Scott Boras, who will most likely get the best offer he can. John Henry told CSNNE that he isn't confident about getting an extension for Ellsbury like management was able to do for Dustin Pedroia, at...
With the trading deadline less than a week away, the Red Sox are certain to add an arm to their thin pitching staff.
While there is much speculation around White Sox starter Jake Peavy, the cost could be too high. Chicago reportedly wants third baseman Will Middlebrooks. The Red Sox are reluctant to part with any of their high profile prospects.
The Yankees/Red Sox rivalry helped FOX to a season-high in overnights over the weekend. In other news, WNBA viewership has increased by more than a third on ESPN2 and NBA TV, and golf’s American Century [...]
(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Thursday's washout at Fenway offered Boston the opportunity to tweak its starting rotation for the next five days. John Lackey—who was last night's scheduled starter—will go tonight in Baltimore. He will be followed by Ryan Dempster on Saturday and Jon Lester on Sunday. Monday's make-up game with the Rays back in Fenway will be handled by Felix...