Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Best We've EVER Seen Jon Lester Pitch...Boston 8 Texas 1

The Texas Rangers are in no way similiar to the light-hitting KC Royals...they can hit. Last year, Jon Lester no-hit them but his complete game shutout at Fenway Park on Sunday against the heavy hitting first place Texas Rangers was the best I or anyone has ever seen him pitch. He threw only 63 pitches over the first six innings...63! That boggles my mind. He was perfect going into the seventh inning before Michael Young broke up the no-no with a clean, hard hit double to left-center. The crowd rose as one and saluted the young lefthander. Young had this to say after the game...

“That’s one of the best games I’ve ever seen in my career,” Young said. “Barely over 100 pitches (107), pounding the strike zone with all his pitches, you’ve got to give him credit. Lester flat-out has good stuff and it showed tonight.”

Papi had two hits, including a fair pole home run, so maybe he's emerging from his slump. But the night belonged to Lester. He was so dominant that at one point he struck out seven of nine batters. He had eleven strikeouts in all. Here's what pitching coach John Farrell had to say...

“His ability not only to change speeds, but also because the cutter will bore in on right-handed hitters and the changeup has fade, he’s able to spread the plate even more than the 17 inches it is,” pitching coach John Farrell said. “That’s not even to mention the separation of velocity. It lets his fastball have a little more margin for error around the plate or in the strike zone.”

It was a fun game to watch as the outs mounted and the tension grew. I sat there with my mouth open half the time...that's how good he was. And that's when I wasn't standing and cheering. Right now it looks like the Boston starting pitching staff is rounding into shape, with Beckett and Lester, not to mention Wakefield, improving with every start. And the arrival of John Smoltz is nearing quickly. Yesterday, he went six innings and gave up one hit and one run for Pawtucket. We could see him pitching for the big club June 16th against the Marlins, an NL team he knows well. When it rains, it pours, I guess. I like it when it pours.

That's it for this beautiful-to-be Sunday here in north central Connecticut. I hope yours will be a good one and I also hope you were able to see some of the Lester gem. That's exactly what it was. Click on the title for more Sox stuff and as always, BE WELL. See you...soon.

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