Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 4/7/13
Jon Lester has gone up against two Cy Young winners to begin the season. He’s 2-0. Yet while Lester’s Opening Day performance in the Bronx against CC Sabathia was fairly solid, Sunday’s victory over R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays was much more impressive. Lester never faced any trouble on Sunday, as the Red Sox’ offense gave him a five-run lead before he ever took the mound and continued to pile on throughout the game. But when the Sox weren’t crushing baseballs all over Rogers Centre, Lester looked very sharp while twirling seven shutout innings. Lester gave up five hits and struck out six. His cutter was its usual effective self, and the lefty’s offspeed stuff kept hitters off balance. That’s especially encouraging, as Lester noted after the game that it usually takes six, seven or even eight starts before his breaking ball really starts to click. “It was better. I was able to throw some curveballs for strikes, both ahead and behind,” Lester said. “I threw a couple good changeups today. It was a lot better.” Lester’s Opening Day start against the Yankees wasn’t anything to sneeze at. He worked five innings of two-run ball, struck out seven and, most importantly, got the win. It still left a lot to be desired, though, as the Red Sox have come to expect more than five innings from their No. 1 starter. Sunday’s start was much more ace-like, and a big reason is because Lester was much more economical than he was on Opening Day. It took him 96 pitches to get through five innings in his first start, but the southpaw threw 100 while working through seven frames against the Jays. Plus, he didn’t walk anyone. Lester admitted after the game that the big lead the Red Sox established allowed him to be more aggressive, so that certainly played a role in controlling his pitch count. The left-hander was sure not to let the lead creep into his mind too much, though. “The biggest thing is the mentality. You got to stay sharp,” Lester said. “You got to act like it’s a 0-0 game and try to keep executing pitches.” Lester did execute his pitches, despite a few lengthy half innings in the dugout due to Boston’s offensive onslaught. If the game had been closer, it wouldn’t have been shocking to see manager John Farrell stick with the starter for another inning. Wins are the only thing that matter at the end of the day, but they’ll come much easier for the Red Sox when Lester pitches like he did on Sunday. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Another young 49er, Kaleb Ramsey, retires from NFL

Saints GM: Drew Brees’ contract situation is not a ‘distraction’

Tim Tebow: ‘I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in’

Olympic athletes warned about Rio's 'human crap' waters

T.J. Ward: Broncos defense doesn’t care who’s playing QB

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tokyo already dealing with rising costs for 2020 Olympics

Bears first-round pick Leonard Floyd carted off practice field

Report: Bills and Tyrod Taylor continue to talk extension

Report: Title contender planning to poach Curry from Warriors

Fitzpatrick on negotiations: I wouldn’t wish it on anybody

NBA players to fund health insurance for former players

Royals want to package Ian Kennedy, Wade Davis in trades

The new era of WWE SmackDown has liftoff

Vlade Divac: Cousins ‘most dominant player in the world’

Wild offer to make Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy' new goal song

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

Canucks don't dismiss acquiring player with past issues

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ordered to pay $900K to auction house

Six potential landing spots for Nick Foles

Jack Nicklaus puzzled by Tiger Woods' woes, golf absence

Brown responds to Marshall's high-stakes challenge

Seven most mind-boggling NFL contracts of 2016

Is Jackie Bradley Jr. the Red Sox’s MVP?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker