Somewhere near the beginning of last night’s eventual 5-1
loss to the surging Kansas City Royals, former Boston Globe columnist Mike
Barnicle tweeted this about Red Sox starter Jon Lester:
It doesn't seem to matter how he's doing - terrible or terrific - watching Jon Lester pitch is a painful, torturous experience.
— Mike Barnicle (@mikebarnicle) August 9, 2013
After watching Lester struggle through a first inning that
featured 41 pitches and three Royals runs (there was also an error in there by
defensive stalwart Jonny Gomes), I found myself nodding in agreement.
Lester found himself after the rocky start, effectively
shutting down the Royals and lasting seven innings.
“I need to win more of those games, but
I feel like I’m getting close,” Lester told Globe scribe Peter Abraham after
the game. “There are good signs if you try to look at the glass as being half
full. It’s getting there.”
Well, yeah. I agree. Lester does need
to win more of those games.
And, as Abraham points out in a post on
Boston.com, Lester’s last few starts have been better. The lefty has a 3.48 ERA
over his last five starts. Over his last 31 innings, he has walked just seven
and struck out 30.
All that is great, but Lester is a
pitcher who has been billed as the Sox ace. He’s making more than $11.6 million
this season. Slow starts and maddening inconsistency is not something Boston
can afford when the playoffs come ‘round.