Thursday, April 03, 2008

Lester Sharp As The Red Sox Blank The A's-Youkilis Sets A Major League Record...OH MERCY!

On a Wednesday afternoon in the Bay Area of California, Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester took a huge step in this, his early season development. Pitching against the Oakland A's, he went 6 2/3 innings, looking sharp all the way. One of the keys? FIRST PITCH STRIKES! He ended up throwing 94 pitches, which is a low total for 6 plus innings of Jon Lester ball. He gave up zero runs, as did the 'pen, allowing only 3 hits while walking 3 and striking out a trio. This was truly a focused effort that was SO good to see from Jon. He is such an important part of our rotation, and with Schill on an excercise bike and Josh Beckett on the east coast, the Red Sox are securely in first place with a record of 3-1. Papi supplied all the power needed with his 7th inning two run tater, but the Sox weren't finished. A bunch of singles in the next inning produced another 2 runs, and another run in the 9th made the final score 5-0. Corey and Little Manny Delcarmen did a great job out of the 'pen, combining for the final 2 2/3 scoreless innings. This is what Tito Francona and the man himself, Jon Lester, had to say after the game ended and the Sox were soon to leave for their third country in 8 days...

“He threw a two-seamer with good, late action, and you add his cutter and he’s got two different ways to go and it opens up the plate,” manager Terry Francona said. “The different action on his pitches, as long as he stays in the zone, gives him a lot of ways to attack hitters.”
“This didn’t feel like the first start,” Lester said. “This felt more comfortable than the previous time, and I feel good about taking another stride forward.”

Peter here, and Jon, you were a joy to watch. GONE were most of the wasted pitches out of the strike zone. Gone were the "way too hittable" pitches too near the heart of the strike zone. To put it simply, you were fantastic! And the game had a historic moment to boot. First baseman supreme Kevin Youkilis, our soul and guts AND the best in the game, set THE MAJOR LEAGUE RECORD for consecutive error-free games at first base. 194 straight. Wow. Way to go, Kev. The A's even went so far as to give him the first base bag, and that was a classy act. Here's what Youk had to say after the game...

"I have to thank the Oakland A's for giving me the base as a memory to keep around the house, something cool to have in the collection," Youkilis said. "It's an achievement you never set out to do, but it happens and it's great just to have."

Peter here, and I have to agree. Handling throws low, high, to the left, to the right or in the dirt multiple times every game, 194 of 'em without a miscue is quite an accomplishment. Kevin, I salute you! WE ALL DO!!

Click on the title of this post for the Boston Herald's wrap-up of this getaway game in Oakland. Getting away in first place ain't so bad, is it? So click away, and as always and forever, my Constant Readers, BE WELL. And thank you so much for your recent great comments. Keep 'em coming! I love it!! And I love our Red Sox. But you knew that, didn't you? I love you too.


At 4/03/2008 10:00 AM, Blogger gingerly said...

It was a great game. Really, the last two games were ones the Red Sox had to fight hard to win, and I was proud of everyone. Especially Lester in the last game. And seeing Papi hit that homer was wonderful. And Varitek gets a homer that goes on his record this time.

I am feeling so good about our team right now. Everyone seems ready to win. Go Sox. And go, Peter!

At 4/03/2008 10:28 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Thanks Keith...I hope it is more of a reflection of the Sox pitching than it is for the hitting woes of that team from Oakland.

At 4/03/2008 10:41 AM, Blogger Bosox Fan in Wichita said...

Peter, me too. If the Sox pitching lives up to expectations, it's gonna be another great year. And how about that fan support; it even amazed the Oakland team.

At 4/03/2008 12:12 PM, Blogger Rooster said...

Peter, good summary of Lester's performance. On my blog, I called it "command". You did a good job on defining command - no wasted pitches outside the strike zone, no pitches right down the middle, etc. That is all key to his outing - when his command is off - he's more hittable, and pitch count goes way up.

Also, I read Youk's glove is on the way to Cooperstown - isn't Youk superstitious?

At 4/03/2008 12:28 PM, Blogger Rooster said...

Oops - I only got 3 hours of sleep last night - the baseball is going to Cooperstown, not the glove - never mind...zzzzzz

At 4/03/2008 1:55 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

Hey doesn't matter! Youk, well...he is the best on THAT bag. By the way, he plays FOR US!! And that is so great.

At 4/03/2008 3:05 PM, Blogger Rooster said...

I laughed at a comment Caroline left me regarding the first base bag they gave to Youk. She said she hopes his dog doesn't eat it! Wish I had thought of that one!

At 4/03/2008 5:10 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

You see, I have to tell you something. CAROLINE IS FUNNY!! Isn't she? Hey, thanks Rooster. Have a great night.

At 4/04/2008 12:53 AM, Blogger redsox.njdevils said...

That was pretty funny, Caroline!

194 straight games--that's amazing!

I really wish I could've watched the game. I was listening to it, but it seemed like an awesome game to watch.

I have to admit that I was a little nervous about Lester at first, but after that game, I'm confident that he'll be a strong, essential part of our '08 World Championship Team.

...Ok, maybe I'm looking just a little too far ahead, but with the way Dice-K and Jon have been pitching these last two games, I think that's an entirely realistic assumption!

At 4/04/2008 6:11 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Brittany, they DID look great. Let's see them string some together. Wakes goes tonight, and he was our best spring pitcher.


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