Flash From the Past As Jon Lester Dazzles in Complete Game
After the Red Sox got strong outings from their bottom three starting pitchers, it was Jon Lester‘s turn to try and keep the Sox winning streak going. Lester hasn’t been the number one guy that the club had pegged him to be this year and if you go back to last September he has just 3 wins in his last 15 starts. Hardly what you would expect from the oh so calm Lester.
But Monday night brought back memories of the dominating southpaw that the Red Sox so desperately need to lead this pitching staff. Right from the word go, Lester was in charge all night and it was only fitting that he go the distance and secure the complete game, his first since 2010. While he did surrender 8 hits, he struck out 5 and didn’t walk a single batter. It was the Lester of old and a sight for sore eyes given his sub-par season thus far.
Lester threw 119 pitches and after giving up a run in the ninth it was starting to look like he would fall victim to the slow hook of Bobby Valentine and coincidentally ruin what had been a brilliant outing. But Lester battled back in the ninth and slammed shut the idea of a Mariners comeback, striking out the final batter.
Prior to the start against Seattle, Lester had three decent starts against Baltimore, Kansas City and the White Sox. He worked a combined 18.0 innings and only allowed four earned runs so perhaps tonight was the finishing touch to prove that he’s ready to once again lead this pitching staff.
It was the two consecutive starts against Minnesota and Texas that had Red Sox Nation concerned that Lester would be lost amid the Beckett cult, suffering on the mound from the overshadowing of the big Texan’s conniving ways. He worked in just 9.0 total innings giving up 12 earned runs on 14 hits in what appeared to be his rock bottom.
Based on his last four outings it’s safe to say that the Lester of old is back and given how Lester has struggled early on in years gone by, we shouldn’t be too surprised he continued that trend this year. Given how well he was on this night, the confidence should be restored that Jon Lester is here to help win ball games and if tonight was any indication he is set to get on a roll.
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