Red Sox manager John Farrell announced today that Jon Lester‘s scheduled Sunday start is being pushed back two days to Tuesday. Farrell was not specific about the change. “We felt like two things: One, we have an opportunity right now to give him a couple extra days coming out of the break,” Farrell said. “And two, he’ll benefit from it,” as reported on red sox.com.
If two more days can get Lester straight then go for it. After starting the season 6-0, Lester is now 8-6 with a chubby 4.58 ERA. He has allowed at least five runs in five of his last 11 starts, giving up four in three others. Over a span of eight starts Lester has posted an ugly 6.36 ERA and opponents have hit .311 off him. Ouch.
Some analysts are saying that one of Lester’s major problems is his almost exclusive reliance on the cutter. Batters know they’re going to get a steady diet of them and measure their stride accordingly. That would account for the 10 homers in 46 2/3 innings during that span. He’s also created man of his own problems, walking 22 against 38 strikeouts.
If the Red Sox are to stay ahead in the AL East in the second half, Lester’s got to figure it out. Time is running out.