Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lester Loses Control & Boston Red Sox Lose With Him..Yankees Win

Question: What are five walks and Jon Lester? Answer: Two things that do not belong together. Well, last night Jon Lester walked five Minnesota Twins and it showed in the final score, 5-2 Twinkies. But Big Papi David Ortiz did his best yet again by hitting a tater in the top of eighth inning that tied the game at 2. Lester had done his job-the game belonged to either team. Here's Jon talking about his lack of control...

“I felt like I had pretty good stuff. I just wasn’t able to locate. Gave them too many opportunities and when you do that, that’s what happens. It doesn’t matter what team it is in the big leagues. If you give them plenty of opportunities, they’re going to take care of them.’’

After the Sox scored one in the seventh and one in the top of the eighth (Papi), Lester, having thrown 106 pitches, came back to the mound. That was a mistake but Red Sox manager Tito Francona tells us what his thinking process was. After all, 106 throws isn't that much. Here he is...

“I thought he still had very good stuff. That really wasn’t an issue.’’

OK, Terry. I agreed with your managerial decision when you made it but the gamble didn’t pay off as Lester walked Joe Mauer to start the inning. With one out and Mauer on second, Jim Thome doubled to give Minnesota the lead. Francona ended Lester’s night after 119 pitches.

It kept getting worse from there but I've come to a couple post-game conclusions. There was no way to avoid Alfredo Aceves, who let the game get away. The bullpen had been overworked and before the first pitch, Francona stressed that he wanted Bard and Paps to have Wednesday off. Thursday is an off day and he wanted to give them as much "off" time as possible. After all, Bard and Paps, in my mind, are the best duo in ANYBODY'S bullpen. So the most intelligent manager moves don't always add up to a win. The big equalizer was this. Three out of those 5 guys who Lester walked ended up scoring. So Wednesday night in Minnesota proved that baseball is a fickle game with small, minute things dictating winning or losing. Last night, it was a loss for Boston. The Yankees won, gained a game and are only 1 1/2 games behind. But that's all right...the Sox are the better team.

After today's day of rest, sorely needed, we go to Seattle for three and then jet back to Boston for the start of a three game home stand. I'll have the pitching match ups for the three game Seattle set first thing tomorrow. Until then, enjoy your Thursday, forecast to be one of the "ten best" days of the year here in the northeast. Click on this post's title for all the audio and video from last night and as always, BE WELL. I'll be seeing you, the Big Guy willing.

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