Found July 18, 2012 on New England Sports React:
B9
Carl Crawford has impressed all since returning from the disabled list, looking like the player he once was in Tampa Bay. Maybe the Boston Red Sox should do with Jon Lester what they did with Daniel Bard. Because sending him out there every fifth day seems to hurt rather than help the team, resulting in losses almost every time out. Last night, Lester turned in yet another poor outing against the Chicago White Sox, going just four innings while allowing six runs and three walks. It’s been a frustrating season for Lester, who has had trouble giving his team the chance to win games. In his starts this season, the Sox are just 7-12. “It’s been a frustrating year, frustrating night, just keeps adding on and I’m getting tired of it,” Lester said to reporters after the game. “I try to make adjustments, try to do the things I need to do and I’m just not getting the results.” A 5-7 record with a 4.80 ERA are certainly uncharacteristic numbers for the usually reliable Lester. Maybe he is having trouble with his mechanics like Daniel Bard, and the problems are now starting to affect him mentally. His fastball is slower than it used to be, and at just 28 years old that’s a concern for the Red Sox. How does a guy that used to reach 97 mph only have enough left to throw 93? Those four miles per hour have certainly made a difference in the contact made against Lester, mainly due to the fact that his other pitches are so similar in speed and his location is off. Josh Beckett learned to adjust when his fastball got slower, so it would seem as if Lester will need to do the same. Given the fact that he’s struggled to make adjustments that work this season, maybe he should seek out advice from Beckett. I know he isn’t the first guy one would think of asking given his history, but he has been through the same thing before. Hopefully, he can get this figured out or else I think the Sox may very well get rid of him before the trade deadline. There was a positive that came out of last night’s game, however. Carl Crawford went 3-for-4 out of the number two hole, drove in his second RBI in as many games, stole three bases, and scored two runs. He’s only been back two games now, but by the looks of it he’s a completely different player than the man we saw struggle through his first season in Boston. He is patient and confident at the plate, waiting for his pitch to put a good swing on. Albeit all three hits were singles, but any solid contact at this point is a good sign. Perhaps even more impressive than his offensive prowess last night was his baserunning. He appeared to run like the Crawford of old, stealing bags with reckless abandon and knowing how slim the chances were that he’d get caught. It seems that he’s thinking very little and letting his talent take over, and while he claimed to have that mindset last season it seems as if it’s finally coming to fruition. So far, I’ve enjoyed watching him play and hope he continues to provide a spark from the top of the lineup. If he does, along with the production of Jacoby Ellsbury and the nearing return of Dustin Pedroia, the top of this Boston lineup could become the force it was expected to be at the beginning of the season. As long as the injury bug finds a new team to bite, that is. -Ryan Hartley
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Your Morning Dump...where Jon Lester continues to struggle

  Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. Have the Red Sox gone to every member of the organization, sought their input and tried to implement their ideas and suggestions in order to fix Lester? Let’s hope so, because if any member of this rotation...

Jon Lester Frustrated With Continued Struggles on Mound for Red Sox (Video)

Jon Lester was once again off the mark on Tuesday, lasting only four inning against the White Sox and allowing six runs. The 2012 season has been one to forget for Lester, and the Red Sox ace is certainly feeling the frustration. Physically, Lester says he has no issues, but the bad starts continue to pile up. The three-run home run Lester allowed to Kevin Youkilis only added insult...

What's Wrong With Jon Lester?

The enthusiasm generated by the nearly simultaneous returns of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford was stopped dead in its tracks on Tuesday night in Fenway Park with what can be summed up in six words - what is wrong with Jon Lester?Lester (pictured) had another subpar outing lasting just 4 innings.  He was charged with 6 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks in the Red Sox 7-5 loss to the...

Jon Lester And A Few Waiver Pitchers

He was supposed to be an ace, the stopper, one of the best lefties in the game. Instead he’s been mediocre, and that may even be giving him too much slack. Jon Lester is the 90th overall ranked starting pitcher in ESPN standard leagues. He’s got an ERA in the mid 4′s and a WHIP that doesn’t inspire confidence in anyone except the opposing team. He also owns one of the worst...

Carl Crawford Batting Second, Playing Left Field in Return to Red Sox Lineup

Carl Crawford is back in Boston, and he'll be thrown right into the fire in his first game with the Red Sox this season. Crawford will hit second and play left field in his 2012 debut with the Sox. Elbow, wrist and groin injuries have kept Crawford out of the big leagues this season, but after an arduous rehab process, he's ready to -- sort of. Crawford told reporters last...

Racial-slur indicent with Crawford earns officer disciplinary hearing

A Leominster, Mass., police officer was placed on paid leave pending a disciplinary hearing after an internal investigation showed he directed a racial slur at Carl Crawford of the Boston Red Sox while the outfielder was rehabbing in Manchester, N.H. "It surprised me he was a police officer," Crawford said of the July 5 incident. "It's disappointing and all that...

Carl Crawford 'Still Surprised' by Trade Rumors, Says Boston is 'Best Place to Play' (Video)

July is an exciting month for Major League Baseball. As the trade deadline looms at the end of the month, it's hard not to be excited and anxious when hearing trade rumors involving your ball club. But how does feel if it's your name involved in those trade rumors? Carl Crawford said that he is "still surprised" by rumors that he could be traded to the Miami Marlins...

Mayor fires cop who slurred Crawford

A Massachusetts mayor has fired a police officer accused of directing a racial slur at Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford during a baseball game. Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella says Officer John Perrault's comments and actions show he's unfit to serve on the police force. Mazzarella's decision Thursday comes a day after Police Chief Robert Healey recommended...

Carl Crawford Turns on 'Afterburner' While Matching Kevin Youkilis on Comeback Trail (Video)

Carl Crawford has only played in two games this year, but he's already making his impact felt. The lefty continued his hot start to 2012 on Tuesday night, going 3-for-4 with three stolen bases and looking pretty great jetting around the basepaths. The only thing that might have made things better would have been a Red Sox victory. Kevin Youkilis put an end to that thinking, however...

Afternoon Red Sox Delight - 7/17

After beating the Youks 5-1 last night, the Boston Red Sox look to take another win tonight in the second game of a three-game set with the Chicago White Sox at historic Fenway Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. and will be broadcast on NESN in the Red Sox television market. If you live in the White Sox television market, you can watch the game on WCIU. If you can'...

Boston Red Sox Rumors: Carl Crawford Being Shopped

Carl Crawford finally came off the disabled list on Monday, so obviously now is the time to trade him, right? Apparently that’s what the Boston Red Sox are thinking. Major league sources have told FoxSports’ Ken Rosenthal that Boston is aggressively shopping Crawford around the league and has been in contact with multiple teams concerning a shop. While Red Sox general manager...

Red Sox/White Sox Series Preview

By SBRForum.com What better way to utilize your free MLB picks than to use them on what should be an excellently fought series between the Red Sox and White Sox at Fenway. Boston opened up the second half of the season with a 2-1 series win over the Rays in Tampa. The Red Sox are now 45-44 on the season in the always difficult AL East. This week we’ll witness a series everyone’s...

Lester looking for mojo in second half

Start 'Em Anibal Sanchez (@CHC, @PIT) After flaunting a 2.56 ERA at the end of May, Sanchez has been hit with a dose of reality, getting rocked for 30 runs in his past seven outings, five of which have resulted in losses for the Marlins. Sanchez's upcoming slate, however, should provide a platform to bounce back, taking on middling offenses in the Pirates and Cubbies...

Report: Marlins pitch blockbuster deal to Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox reportedly have been offered a mega-deal by the Miami Marlins, who would trade closer Heath Bell and infielder Hanley Ramirez for outfielder Carl Crawford and a prospect. The proposed traded, which was first reported by USA Today Sports on Wednesday, would involve three All-Stars who have combined contracts of $239 million. Crawford, who was activated for the...

Youkilis' homer helps his new Sox beat his old Sox

BOSTON -- The "Yooook" you heard Tuesday night at Fenway Park was for returning hero Kevin Youkilis. The "boooo" you heard was for Red Sox lefty Jon Lester. Youkilis, again treated royally by the Boston fans he left when he was traded to Chicago last month, hammered a three-run homer off old pal Lester in the fourth inning, leading the White Sox to a 7-5 win...
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!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.