Once is a fluke. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is a pattern.
When Jon Lester pitched 8.1 innings and allowed only 6 hits with zero earned runs against the SF Giants on August 19, I thought it was a fluke. The Giants aren’t doing very well this season.
When he threw 7.1 innings and allowed only 3 hits and 1 earned run in LA against the Dodgers on August 24, I wanted to think he was bouncing back but I told myself it was just a coincidence. The Dodgers had been super hot and were due to have a bad day.
When he went 6 innings with only 5 hits and 3 earned runs on August 29 verses Baltimore, I felt comfortable declaring it a pattern. He’s back! You might point out that Lester actually earned the loss for this game, but I’ll point out that the offense only scored 2 runs in that game and that the win-loss stat is totally stupid. I did some more digging into his stats and found that on August 8 and 14 he pitched 6 or more innings and gave up 5 or fewer hits and 3 or fewer earned runs. I think I’ve been underestimating he pitching ability in the month of August.
Now that August is nearly over, we want to wonder what September will bring. If the pitching staff can stay strong the Sox have a good chance of holding onto their 3.5 game lead in the AL East.