Tag Archives: Jon Lester
Back in February, when Beloved old friend Kevin Millar was released by the Cubs (if they had kept him they would have won the World Series finally), we invited him to come back and join NESN for our entertainment:
Unfortunately for fans of hard drinking backup first basemen/outfielders, Kevin Millar was cut by the Cubs yesterdat in his attempt to continue his career into a thirteenth season. Though it is sad for Millar, and all of the Chicago college girls who he was going to “pleasure,” It brings up a new opportunity for those of us who love an miss Millar in Boston (just not in the lineup).
For one he could do as I’ve always hoped and join NESN as a sideline reporter and analyst. He is the natural successor to Remy and would be hilarious on the set with Jim Rice’s suits and Dennis Eckersley’s hair constantly reminding him that they are in the hall of fame and he’s not. They could also send him out on the road to do live check ins with fans in the bars as he gets drunk and see how many innings it takes until he gets incoherent, throws up on air or pulls a Joe Namath with some random college chick he’s interviewing. Eventually, when Remy decides to leave the booth, he and his bottle of Jack Daniel’s would be the guy to step in along with Donny O.
The best option is to redefine reality TV by giving Millar his own show. It wold basically be a reality version of Cheers, but the bar would be in the Sox clubhouse, and the part of Diane would be played by DeMarlo Hale. Every night, when the game ends, the guys would come back to their lockers to find Millar set up behind he bar, serving drinks and spitting old timey bartender wisdom. The players would be able to come to Millar to talk about their issues, work through a rough day on the field, or just to see what Northeastern girl he was trying to give his special brand of love to that night.
And now he’s back. Officially. And it’s giving me a stiffy.
Jon Lester is the man. He of the one time 8.44 ERA in April (when he was 0-2) is now 3-0 in the month of May with 2.32 ERA. Last night he pitched a complete game, giving up one earned run and striking out 9, saving the bullpen for a trip to pitcher’s hell this weekend in Philly (the ballpark is as much a launching pad as the New Yank is). Lester is nasty, and homers from Youk (pitching, defense and the three run home run) and Beltre didn’t hurt either, especially coming against a guy who hadn’t given up a single one all year. Basically, for the rest of the year he will be treating the American League the same way he did cancer. Eliminating with extreme prejudice.
I want to extend a personal thanks to Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. Over the past two nights they have shown me, and the rest of the Nation, what this season was supposed to look like. 17 innings pitched, 11 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, and 2 wins in 2 games for the young stars of this supposedly dominant pitching rotation. With Josh Beckett going to the DL, John Lackey not performing the way he did to start the year, and Daisuke Matsuzaka being, well, Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Sox needed a pick me up during what is the toughest stretch of the schedule for them, and what has already been a brutal season.
This is where it gets dicey. The Sox have yet to get themselves more than 2 games over .500 at any time this season, and to make the playoffs, the logical assumption is that they must get to about 30 games over. They are at 2 games over right now, but play their next six games against the teams with the best records in both the NL and AL. If the Sox can manage to break even over the next six games, three of which will have to be played without either David Ortiz (hotter than Cindy Crawford in that Pepsi commercial from the 90s) or Adrian Beltre (still hitting an under-the-radar .316) due to the NL park, it will be a very good sign.
I effing hate interleague play.
Thank God for Jon Lester and his mighty left arm. It was thanks to the awesomeness of Lester’s left, and the vomit inducing ineptitude of A.J. Burnett’s right at Fenway Park that allowed the Sox to avoid the sweep and get back (yet again) to .500 baseball. Alas, Billy Hall and his magic pink bat did not make an appearance. While Victor is still sucking and there are innumerable other issues with the Sox, there was one (other) truly feel good story this Mothers Day that left the Yankees on the short end of the stick.
For those who don’t know, during an April 22nd game in Oakland, Alex Rodriguez, noted ball slapper and other ancient rule breaker (he once called out as he was rounding third base in an attempt to get the third baseman to drop an easy popup), ran across the mound as he was returning from third base to the first base dugout after being retired. Dallas Braden, the day’s starter for the A’s, took offense to that, telling the mighty Douche to get off his mound, and in no uncertain terms. According to the New York Post it went something like this:
Braden, that afternoon: “You want to run across the mound? Go run laps in the bullpen. That’s my mound.”
Rodriguez, that afternoon: “I had never quite heard that before, especially from a guy who has a handful of wins in his career.”
Braden, a few days ago: “There are things that are going to have to happen . . . We don’t do much talking in the 209 [area code of Braden’s hometown of Stockton, Calif.].”
Rodriguez, in response: “I really don’t want to extend his extra 15 minutes of fame.”
Well, now Braden has proof that it is really his goddamn mound. Yesterday, on Mother’s Day, with his grandmother, Peggy Lindsey, in the stands (unfortunately Braden’s mother passed when he was in high school), Dallas Braden threw the 19th perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball. It was an awesome sight to see Braden embrace his grandmother on the field and celebrate with his teammates. What was better than that? When asked about the feud, Lindsay said, “Stick it, A-Rod!”
the Jays are in town and they suck just about as bad as we do so it should be a good one. Lackey’s on the hill with another chance to drive the Sox up over .500 and get something going. 7:10 can’t get here fast enough.
It’s sad, really. For five years, David Ortiz was one half of the most feared tandem in baseball, a power hitter who pitchers avoided. He hit 54 home runs in 2006, had at least 137 RBI for three years in a row, and was named the best clutch hitter in the history of the Boston Red Sox. Now he is the guy that pitchers hope come up when they are in a tight spot, the guaranteed out, the weakest link. It’s sad to see.
Last night’s game was a huge positive for the Red Sox. They got 8 solid innings from Lester, who seems to be rounding into form, a great defensive play from Pedroia, made no errors (seriously, for a team that was built to play defense, games without errors seem like no hitters this year), and got enough offense to get the win. Hermida’s clutch double (luck) continued his string of timely hits, and Lowell added yet another double, his fifth hit in a row, four of them doubles. They have now won two in a row and are just a game short of .500, and that is without two of their starting outfielders.
But then there’s the artist formerly known as Big Papi. He is now hitting .154, with three home runs and 6 RBI. He approached the plate four times last night, walking away sadly after striking out twice and hitting into two double plays. The second of those, of course, was the real stomach punch. Bases loaded, nobody out and Ortiz gives all of Red Sox Nation a stomach punch by hitting directly into the shift for an unproductive 4-2-3 double play. I wasn’t even really hoping for a hit, just a productive out. Hell, even if he had hit into another type of double play the run could have score. If Juan Rivera wasn’t a completely inept leftfielder and had caught Hermida’s very catchable ball, we might not even have the positive of a win to temper the disappointment in our former idol. He has become Jason Varitek of September 2008, hitting into double plays, striking out and otherwise turning potential big innings into great big shitburgers like it is what he was getting paid to do.
To add insult to injury, the guy who everybody wants to replace him, and already has against left handers, continued to be red hot, doubling again to score Hermida right after. Mike Lowell, who has shown not only class in this situation, but the ability to thrive, hitting .317 with a .903 OPS. He also has five hits in his last five at bats.
Right now, my inclination is to let Ortiz work it out. He may be driving me to want to punch babies, but we can never boo the guy, after all he has done for us. Last year he was just a little better at this point and then had the best final four months of the season in the AL. His teammates have his back, as evidenced by Dustin Pedroia’s comments after the game, and Tito is notoriously loyal to his players (and he knows more about his team than you do), so they’re probably going to let this one ride for a while.
If Lowell keeps tearing the cover off the ball though, the end of the month might have people singing a different tune.
Enjoy Cinco De Nomar.
I must first admit to not watching the game last night, I was at an event of equal length, more death and less balls: The Opera.
But upon my midnight return to the hotel, I was graced by baseball tonight’s highlights. Lester for 7 innings of shutemdown baseball (11 k’s) then Bard K’s the side after giving up a double just to keep the game intrigue high, and then in came the Moose to shut things down.
Lester’s ability to vary between a 95mph heater, and a 78mph curveball is just knee bucklingly awesome. My favorite toss of his, however, is his 87mph running cutter. And each of them worked last night. Lester has been generally poor in April over his career… and given this will prob be his last start this month, I’m looking forward to a very fulfilling May. Which will be nice because we forget that May is generally a shitty and rainy month… and Boston only smiles when the Sox are winning (or when we hear tourists complaining about us… it’s just the best).
Assuming Lowell and Ortiz don’t poison each other, Bucc keeps plowing away (heyo), Beckett gets his shit together and Lackey keeps it on the straight & narrow… we’re in for a 19+ win May.
Of course the first Red Sox error of 2010 would end up costing us the game. Of course the new guy who was brought in to stabilize the shortstop position for the first time since 2004 was the one who made the error. Of course it was on a hit by the most relaible shortstop in the game; a guy who has been at his spot for 16 seasons now.
But lets hold back on the whole freaking out thing. Ortiz is 0-7, Lester and Beckett both have 7+ ERAs, and Adrian Gonzalez is still not on the Sox. These are all problems, but not after two games. I agree that David Ortiz may be done, and that, without him in the five spot, the lineup looks a little flimsy, but two games is not enough of a sample size. That is 1.234% of the season.
Give it time and we’ll hope that this run prevention thing works out better next time. We’ll do the whole thing again tonight at 7, with the new guy on the hill.
The last week of the interminably long offseason is finally here, and the Sox are getting the last few issues nailed down. The club leaves to make the trip home (Via D.C.) on Friday and between now and then Becket, Lester, Lackey and Wake will get their final tuneups before taking the ball for real. That leaves just a few small details to be taken care of.
Lackey, the Texan bulldog signed this offseason to take the third spot in Tito’s hand of aces, has agreed to do just that, pitch third, at least until he proves himself in the AL East. Some people were worried that he would be against the whole idea, based on the fact that he has a ring and a 3.12 postseason ERA, along with having been the ace of a perennial contender for years. Those fears were unfounded, as it seems that he had no problem being the third guy for day one. Another victory for not being a douche.
There are still questions as far as who will fill the last spot on the bench (Tug Hulett may have earned himself that spot with a three-run bomb today) and the second lefty spot in the bullpen. Alan Embree, Scott Schoenweis and Joe Nelson have all been run through the grinder, and there isn’t truly any indication as to who will be the 12th pitcher to make his way north with the big club (not stopping in Pawtucket).
One more week until the madness begins (and I still can’t find a ticket to the game for less than $100, so if you have any clues they would be welcome). One more week of sleep, TV and spending less than 12 hours per day checking Extra Bases. I’m ready.
One last thing; Tool Academy, in it’s infinite wisdom, has delivered further proof that Yankees fans are douchebags (fast forward to the 2:40 point).