Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lester Feels Good, But Saturday's Results Did Not Show It...He Tells Us Why...

Jon Lester was "off" yesterday, failing to get an out in the second inning of an eventual 7-6 Red Sox win. But before any panic buttons (there ARE more than one) are pushed, read what he had to say after his start...

“There’s a big difference - last year I had one inning and eight pitches my first start and this year, two innings and 44 pitches - it’s a lot different,” said Lester after yesterday’s 7-6 Red Sox victory. “I can go out and do everything. I feel good about myself when I’m done, I don’t feel winded and tired and all that stuff.” He simply had a bad day at the office.
“I was physically able to do everything, it was just a matter of my body not being able to do it when I wanted it to,” Lester said. “Today I was happy. I had good life in my fastball, threw a couple of good two-seams into lefties. All in all, I was happy with my overall performance, just my numbers weren’t there. You look at some swings where I threw a fastball down the middle that guys were late on. Last year, that ball would have been hit..."

And here is his pitching line...

IP-1 H-2 R-5 ER-4 BB-4 (!!) SO-0 HR-0

Peter here, and those numbers are not pretty, but let's remember this. Saturday was his first spring training start, and he's feeling healthy and hearty, thank God. His mechanics were off, but there's nothing unusual with that in the beginning of March. I would call it completely normal, but I do hope he can round himself into the same form he showed in his one World series appearance. In Denver, his control was precise, he hit his corners and he didn't throw too many pitches. THAT'S the Jon Lester we want for our number three (in the rotation) pitcher. Believe it or not, with the absence of Schill, our rotation is NOT that deep. Beckett-the best in all of baseball. Matsuzaka-hoping to rebound from a slightly better than .500 season (which he will..bigtime). Lester-see above. Wakefield-an inning eater and possible 15 game winner (with eleven or so losses) who needs to stay healthy. Buchholz-unproven (yet) but bound for my mind, THIS YEAR.

To me, those five are the ones who will start every game for the Red Sox except for some spot starts because of doubleheaders and rain postponments. They're the ones we will have to count on, and Jon Lester plays a huge part of that quintet. He has time, plenty of time before the season begins. So we, members of Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International (YES, we DO exist, Hankie Steinbrenner, you big mouthed fool), wait, and enjoy the month of March. Sooner than any of us could believe, our team will be winging west, or north or east, to go to Tokyo. And that's where the REAL fun will begin. For me, the baseball season is half fun and half nervous pacing. Such is the life of this Red Sox fan. I guess I'm lucky that the day after a particular game, I can let off all my mad steam or spread my unbelievable joy to my readers, using the power of words. You don't see any pictures here, it's all me and my words. And that's how I intend it.

Please, if you have time, click on this post's title for the Boston Herald article that delves directly into Jon Lester's start and contains all his words of confidence. And have a wonderful Sunday, my Constant Readers. The Sox play today (Sunday) at 1pm against the Twinkies, televised on NESN. Enjoy it if you can. And don't forget to click on the title to be directed to that Herald article. It's good reading.

As always, BE WELL. Each and every one of you are important to me. More than you'd ever believe. Thanks for being here, and I'd love to read and respond to any and all of your comments. All day, every day. RIGHT HERE.


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