Found July 29, 2013 on
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Jon Lester insisted that whatever benefit he got from an extra two days of rest coming out of the All-Star break was irrelevant two starts into the second half.
"I think it's kind of all null and void now," Lester said after Sunday's 5-0 win over the Orioles in Baltimore. "Any time you go out there and pitch, obviously it takes a lot of toll on your body. The rest was good for that [first] start. Now we're back to the grind of every five days and just going out there and competing."
But after watching Lester go seven scoreless innings and match his season high with eighth strikeouts, manager John Farrell saw it a little differently. Coupled with Lester's last start against Tampa Bay, when he gave up just two runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings, Lester won back-to-back starts for the first time since the end of June.
"At the time, he needed the extra days," Farrell said. "So it certainly paid off for him. We've seen increased command, similar to what he's shown over long periods during his career. So having a couple days just getting away from that first half has sat well with him."
Globe | Rest continues to serve Jon Lester well
In one corner you have Jon Lester saying that, while nice, the rest he got isn't really contributing to his bounceback from a couple months' worth of struggles. In the other, John Farrell, saying the rest has allowed Lester to regain his command.
The stats suggest Lester's version is the truth. Through his career, Lester is actually a worse pitcher on 6+ days of rest than he is on 4 or 5. In 28 starts and 162+ innings on 6+ days of rest, Lester's WHIP is 1.48 and his ERA is 4.43. Meanwhile, on 4 and 5 days' rest his WHIPs are under 1.30 and his ERAs are under 3.90. So there's nothing to suggest that Lester is one of these guys who benefits from extra time off. If anything, the numbers suggest he's better off when sticking to a routine.
That said, it's entirely possible that the extra days allowed his body some time to recharge, and that that will benefit him going into the playoff push -- in other words that the benefit is more long term than short term. And we'll need him to pitch like he did in Baltimore -- or at least some facsimile of it -- if we want to ward off Tampa.
The Red Sox regained first place thanks to their win against the O's (and New York beating Tampa...go Yanks?), but obviously the Rays remain the biggest threat that the Red Sox face. With Wil Myers up and slugging homers left and right, the Rays pitching staff and defense are now better complemented by a stronger lineup. Tampa's offense had been better than expected through this year, but having a legit talent in the middle of the order obviously makes it more likely that they will keep producing runs.
Of course, if anyone wants to buzz Myers high and tight so he stops being so comfortable at the plate, that might change things too.
Globe | Pedroia shakes off 0-for-4 day | Orioles, Hammel fall to Red Sox 5-0 | Herald | David Ortiz outburst no joke | Jarrod Saltalamacchia keeps on playing | John Farrell keeping watch | Jon Lester, Red Sox ace test | ESPNBoston | David Ortiz goes 4 for 4 as Red Sox shut out Orioles | Papi dials up a classic | Lester looks like...well, Jon Lester | No word from MLB on Ortiz outburst | CSNNE | Ortiz goes from hothead to hot bat vs. Orioles | Lester, Red Sox beat O's in series finale, 5-0
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(AP Photo/Nick Wass)
I, and I am sure many of you, had very little faith in the Sox winning the series. Well, they proved us wrong, and won their first series against the Orioles this season, behind Jon Lester and David Ortiz.
Jon Lester returned to old form, shutting down the Orioles in convincing fashion. Lester went 7 very strong score-less innings, scattering 4 hits, 2 walks...
Jon Lester has showed bouts of inconsistency this season, but this past week the left-hander returned to dominance as he led the Red Sox past the Rays on Tuesday night.
Coming off 10 days of rest, Lester allowed only two runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings of work. Lester matched his season-high of eight strikeouts and recorded zero walks, notching his first win since June 27....
Jon Lester had a great outing against the Rays on Tuesday night, and when he takes the mound Sunday afternoon, the left-hander will look to build off that momentum.
Striking out twelve in his last two starts, Lester has become the pitcher the Red Sox were hoping he would become. And with Clay Buchholz still sidelined, Lester will need to step up and become the ace of the pitching...
The Red Sox regained first place in the American League East with a 5-0 win over Baltimore on Sunday afternoon, and Jon Lester led the way tossing seven shutout innings.
Coming off a solid performance against the Rays on Tuesday night, Lester threw another gem, helping Boston take two out of three from the Orioles. The left-hander allowed only four hits, two walks and he struck...
The Red Sox can go ahead and check out the starting pitching market before Wednesday’s trade deadline. But in the end, the team’s biggest boost may come from within.
Jon Lester pitched seven shutout innings while guiding the Red Sox to a 5-0 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Sunday. It’s the third encouraging outing in a row for the left-hander, who appears to be...
Jon Lester threw seven innings with eight strikeouts while David Ortiz hit a two-run home run to help the Boston Red Sox to a 5-0 shutout win over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
With the win along with the Tampa Bay Rays loss, the Red Sox now have a 1/2 game lead over their opponent tonight.
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As of writing this article, the Boston Red Sox sit at 62-43, half a game out of first place in the AL East, and occupy second place in the American League. They are 1st in the league in runs scored (526), 3rd in batting average (.273), 2nd in stolen bases (82, with 21 less chances than the 1st place Brewers who have 89), 2nd in slugging pct. (.438), and 1st in extra base hits (359...
For most of his career, facing the Orioles has been a good thing for Jon Lester. The Red Sox left-hander holds a 14-2 record with a 2.86 ERA against Baltimore.
However, Boston has lost the last five games Lester has started against the O’s. The Red Sox will need him to return to his old ways against the Orioles if they are to earn a series win on Sunday.
Lester is coming off of...
With Clay Buchholz watch entering day 51 and on the shelf until further notice, the Red Sox need for an ace is readily apparent. Sunday afternoon Jon Lester stepped up and returned the Sox to first place in the AL East.
Lester tossed seven shutout innings, gave up just four hits and struck out a season-high eight Orioles in a 5-0 win. Lester is now...
An offensive outburst in Baltimore was just what the doctor ordered. Oh, and the Red Sox had one, too.
David Ortiz’ tirade on a dugout phone appeared to be Big Papi letting out his frustration with the way the Sox had been playing since the All-Star Break. Granted, Boston (62-43) was leading 7-2 in the seventh inning at the time and had received...
(Greg Fiume/Getty Images)David Ortiz went long distance today—and this time the phone company was OK with it. The Boston DH cranked out his 20th HR—along with three other hits—helping power Boston back into first place with a 5-0 win. Jon Lester did his part—capturing his 10th win of 2013 with seven shutout innings. The lefty gave up just four hits, struck out eight and walked...
David Ortiz put his bat to good use, Jon Lester rekindled his dominance of the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox climbed back into first place in the AL East.
All in all, the Red Sox couldn't have found a better way to end a whirlwind weekend.
Lester allowed four hits over seven innings, Ortiz went 4 for 4 with his 20th home run and Boston used a 5-0 victory Sunday to...
11:58 a.m.: Mike Carp once again stepped up when given an opportunity Saturday, so, as a result, he’ll also be in Sunday’s starting lineup.
Carp will bat sixth and play left field — which is the same scenario as Saturday’s. In fact, John Farrell might as well have recycled Saturday’s lineup card, as he’s going with the exact same starting nine. If it ain’t broke, don’t...