Sorry about the lack of blogging yesterday. As you might imagine, I got a little busy during the no-hitter.
Full Disclosure: It didn’t dawn on me that Lester had a no-hitter until about the fifth inning when I heard esteemed colleague Steven Krasner of the Providence Journal say something about a no-hitter on a telephone conversation within ear shot.
What can I say? It just didn’t feel like a no-hitter in the early innings. It was all so routine. Aside from the Ellsbury catch, none of the outs were difficult.
I felt better about spacing the no-hitter for five innings when I heard Jason Varitek say after the game that he had no clue about the no-no until after seven innings. And he was catching! Speaking of ‘Tek, that’s pretty telling that he’s the only catcher in history to be on the receiving end of four no-nos.
Perhaps the most underrated aspect of Lester’s performance was his mid to upper 90s velocity. Where had that been?
Don’t discount that Lester could still be getting back to full strength after the cancer.
Lester was asked this afternoon when the last time was that he had that kind of life on his fastball:
“A long time,” he said. “I’d say all the way back to ’05. It’s been a while to where I could sit there and go, ‘I’m going to try to rear back and throw this one a little bit harder’ and ctually get it. Last year, it was ‘try to throw a little bit harder’ and it was 91, 92. This year, it’s physically stronger and I don’t still have the stuff [chemo, etc.} in me and all that. I just feel a lot better mechanically, too, being able to repeat my mechanics better.”
Think about how dangerous this could make the Red Sox if Lester has a carryover from this no-hitter and becomes that upper echelon type of starter a lot of us forecasted him to be in Spring Training.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals is coming up. The NBA has the matchups they want this round. Celtics and the Pistons, a pure throwback ’80s matchup. And the Lakers and the defending champion Spurs.