Results tagged ‘ Jon Lester ’

Game 2 of the ALDS

Sounds like Red Sox manager Terry Francona is leaning heavily toward Jon Lester on three days rest in Game 4, followed by Josh Beckett in a potential winner-take-all Game 5.

Dice-K is available out of the bullpen again tonight.

Lineup is the same as last night, but the Red Sox hope to get much better results tonight.

Tito is feeling a lot better after yesterday’s horrific food poisoning experience in which he said players could hear him from the clubhouse, well, getting sick in his office bathroom.

Lester appears set for start

As of now, all indications are that Jon Lester will make his start on Thursday against the Indians. The Red Sox will be cautious, but Lester wants the tune-up before his likely start in Game 1 of the ALDS.

“He’s doing pretty well,”Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “Now, again, it’s pretty early this morning for guys to be doing much. Wake went in the cage and threw because of the weather. But I don’t know that that’s a necessity for [him to throw a side. He’s got 33 starts under his belt anyway. Sometimes you take something that could be a negative and turn it into a positive. Just maybe hold off on how much he throws a side, or if he throws a side. Then we’ll go from there.”

Lester did some work on the exercise bike on Saturday.

 “He’s done good,” Francona said. “Before he goes and pitches, you can bet that we’re going to give him the twice-over. I actually think he’s going to be OK.”

Lester becoming a strikeout machine

Jon Lester pitched his way into the Red Sox record book on Tuesday night, notching nine strikeouts to give him a total of 196 on the season. That is now the record for a Boston left-hander, surpassing the record of 190 set by Bruce Hurst in 1987.

Lester was in line for his seventh double-digit strikeout game of the season, but came out after 97 pitches because of some discomfort in his groin. It is nothing that will impact his next start.

“It’s alright,” said Lester. “Just a little precautionary thing. I don’t want to push it, especially this time of the year. I would have liked to have gone a little deeper.”

As for passing Hurst and working his way into the club annals, Lester was typically humble.

“It’s something that’s cool, something that’s nice,” said Lester. “But like I’ve said all along about strikeouts, I’d give strikeouts back for wins. That’s what we’re trying to do is win ballgames. If you strike out 100 guys a game, it doesn’t matter, as long as you win.”

Is manager Terry Francona surprised that Lester is on the verge of a 200-strikeout season?

“I don’t think we’re surprised. I know you guys don’t get invited into those pre-Spring Training  meetings four or five years ago but I think there were a lot of people in the organization who thought that’s what he would be,” said Francona. “[A] workhorse who wouldlog innings. I think we’re seeing what we hoped we’d see.”

Lester is 11-7 on the season with a 3.58 ERA. He led the Red Sox to an 8-4 win over the Rays on Tuesday.

Ian Browne

V. Mart catches Lester

There was one somewhat surprising lineup development on Tuesday night, as it was Victor Martinez catching Jon Lester instead of Jason Varitek.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona had said last week he would try to pair ‘Tek with Lester and Josh Beckett as much as possible. So why Martinez on Tuesday? Part of the reason is that Beckett is pitching Wednesday.

“I wanted ‘Tek tomorrow,” Francona said. “Victor caught him the one time [in Toronto] and did pretty good. We’re just trying to mix and match and mix on the right nights with rest and all that. Just trying to put out the best lineups.”

Lester: Enough is enough from Joba

While Jason Bay said all the right things about being plunked by Joba Chamberlain on Tuesday night, other members of the Red Sox are not amused by the hard-throwing righty continuing to go up and in on Boston hitters.

Joba has drilled Kevin Youkilis four times from August, 2007 to July, 2008. And two at-bats after Bay hit a three-run rocket on Tuesay, Chamberlain put one right at his numbers. This, on a night the righty was masterful over his final few innings, striking out a career-high 12 on the night.

Jon Lester was not pleased by what he saw at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.

“It’s one of those deals where I’m all for throwing in, but there comes a point somebody, whether it be baseball or the opponent, has to step in and say enough is enough,” Lester told WEEI.com. “Balls have gone over guys heads and gone up too close. There’s a difference between throwing in and making a point and he definitely tries to make some points.

“I don’t know if he’s trying to him there or not, but he did and it looks bad because J-Bay did hit a home run off of him, along with the history with us and other players. He always comes back and says the ball slipped, I wasn’t trying to hit anybody. One time you can fool us, two times you can maybe say OK, but it’s gotten old. In baseball it’s one of those deals where you can’t really think there’s a punishment necessary. It’s one of those deals where we might have to police it ourselves a little bit more, I don’t know.”

Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell expressed similar sentiments on a radio interview with WEEI earlier today.

“Speaking specifically about [Tuesday] night: [Chamberlain] strikes out 12 guys, doesn’t seemingly have too many command issues, and if there was a purpose or an intent to throw up and in — or even if the intent was even further than that, to send a clear-cut message — you can disguise it a little bit more than making it very obvious with the first pitch in the middle of the back to Jason Bay,” said Farrell to hosts Dale Arnold and Michael Holley.

“Those things aren’t forgotten. We know there is a history there between the pitcher in New York and our guys here. Not to say that he was specifically out to do that, but I think history speaks for itself and we’ve got a number of games left with these guys.”

The Red Sox face the Yankees next on June 9.

In other news, shortstop Jed Lowrie was back at Fenway for the
first time since his surgery on April 21 left wrist surgery. He remains
on target to start swinging a bat in early June and still hopes to
return to the lineup before the All-Star break.

And in an unrelated but important note, Brownie Points wishes a speedy and heartfelt recovery to NESN analyst Jerry Remy, who is taking an indefinite leave of absence to fully recover from the cancer surgery he had late last year. It won’t be the same around Fenway the next few weeks without the Rem Dawg, who has become as much a part of Red Sox culture as the Green Monster.

Eerie — Nomar just hit one out

Hard to believe, isn’t it, that this is the first time Nomar Garciaparra has played against the Red Sox.

And as I sit here in the press box, they had just shown footage of Nomar’s first career homer, struck on Sept. 1, 1996, against these Oakland A’s here at the Coliseum. I kid you not, immediately after that highlight, Nomar ripped a solo shot into almost the exact same spot into the LF corner against Jon Lester. This was career jack No. 227 for Nomahhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Kind of weird to see Nomar and Orlando Cabrera now teaming up on the left side of Oakland’s infield, isn’t it?

OK. How worried is eveyrone about Lester? Just two bad starts or is something else wrong?

Game 2 — A battle of top lefties

I don’t think there will be any kind of letdown here tonight on the heels of Opening Day. How can there be when you have Scott Kazmir going against Jon Lester?

Consider that these two power arms were built within 17 days of each other in January, 1984. They could be linked for years to come, especially if they stay with their respective teams for the long haul.

These are two of the best young left-handers in the game. The 24-year-old Lester came in with a record of 27-8. Kazmir? He is 47-37. The Red Sox could have traded Lester to the Twins for Johan Santana, but passed it up. The Mets, of course, had the utter indignity of trading Kazmir to the Rays for the immortal Victor Zambrano, something they’ve regretted ever since.

I pity the poor hitters who have to face these two guys on this frigid night at Fenway.

Another interesting subplot tonight is Gabe Kapler vs. Rocco Baldelli. Baldelli, the former Ray, is making his debut for Boston. The opposite is true for Kapler, forever a favorite here at Fenway from his four years (2003-06) with the Sox.

In a shocker, Rocco got a big hand in his first at-bat. As my press box sidekick Lenny Megliola just said, “We ought to get the applause meter out — Rocco vs. Gabe.”

Jetting back to the Fort

Yes, the return of Brownie Points is coming. When last I was in Fort Myers five days ago, it was a slow camp. It was by the far the slowest Spring Training in my eight years on the Red Sox beat. And then I left and all you know what broke loose.

Lugo, surgery. Pedroia, injured, and out of the World Baseball Classic. Jon Lester, signed for five years. Jason Bay, no contract extension this spring. Josh Bard, out of a job. Kevin Youkilis, now out of the World Baseball Classic.

Wow. Quite literally, there was NOTHING going on when last I left Fort Myers. Now we have an official Red Sox Spring Training in full motion.

I land in Fort Myers after 11 tonight. Back in to blog and story mode tomorrow.

Later,

Ian.

Lester, Youk, Lugo and other topics

This is obviously terrific news for the Red Sox that Jon Lester is seemingly on the verge of signing a five-year deal, $30 million that includes a $14 million option for 2013. So now the Red Sox, going into the next four to five years, know that they can depend on a sturdy nucleus of Pedroia, Youkilis, Lester and Ellsbury.

It is so hard to find a big, strong lefty like Lester that you can anchor a staff around, so you knew the Red Sox would pounce at the first opportunity to get him secured for the forseeable future.

Of course, the Jonathan Papelbon situation is still year to year, and you wonder if the sides will ever meet up there. Papelbon has made it clear that he wants to get his maximum worth, and the Red Sox might eventually deem that they can get someone like Daniel Bard to do the job at far less money.

Speaking of Bard, I don’t ever remember a prospect who was all but a lock not to make the team having a camp like this. He is just overpowering hitters.

The Red Sox are representing themselves well at the World Baseball Classic. A day after Dice-K got the win for Japan, Youkilis just obliterated a towering home run, his second longball in his many days. Dustin Pedroia might have broken out of his swing, golfing a pitch down the left field line for a double in Team USA’s big top of the sixth inning.

Meanwhile, in Fort Myers, the shortstop situation continues to be intriguing becuase Julio Lugo and Jed Lowrie are both playing well.

“They both look good,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.
“If that ends up being a dilemma, I’d rather have that happen than guys not
playing well.”

 

Lugo remains confident that he can be the player he was before coming to the Red Sox. 

“Things are going to take care of themselves as long as I’m healthy,” Lugo said.

And fans will be happy to know that the shortstop is working very hard on his defense this spring with new infield coach Tim Bogar.

“Very well, i think Bogar is going to be a big help to me,” Lugo said. “He’s letting me be myself and making plays the way I know how to make it and that’s the way it should be. That’s what got you here. Just refine those skills and that’s it.”

Just one game today

It was good to get stretched out yesterday with a doubleheader, but just a mere nine innings here at City Of Palms today!

Jon Lester‘s first start of the spring is in progress.

Jason Bay was a story for the Pittsburgh media this morning, as this was the first time the left fielder has seen his former team — the Pirates — since that July 31 afternoon when he was traded for some guy named Manny Ramirez.

Jason was at his self-deprecating best when a reporter noted to him that he went from unheralded in Pittsburgh to the lead on SportsCenter every night.

“Was it the Canadian SportsCenter?” quipped Bay.

In other news, Brad Penny and Jonathan Papelbon both threw 40-pitch BP sessions on the backfield. Papelpon will make his first appearance of the spring on Sunday at Hammond Stadium in a game that will also include Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield.

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