Jon Lester is the Perfect Orioles Tamer
Jon Lester has been pegged as the Red Sox top pitcher, handing him the ball on Opening Day and slotting him in as the number one guy in the rotation. But lately he’s been anything but that pitcher a team can rely on as a stopper to go out and all but guarantee a victory with him on the mound. Since his complete game against Seattle back on May 14, Lester is 1-1 in his last three starts with a disturbing 8.33 ERA. In those starts he’s combined to throw just 16.2 innings while surrendering 15 earned runs on 24 hits. He’s struck out 14 and walked only 4 in those starts so those numbers are promising, but it’s hard to feel comfortable with the aforementioned statistics.
So maybe it’s a good thing that the Baltimore Orioles roll into Fenway Park on Tuesday, a team that Jon Lester has completely dominated over his seven year career.
Lester will take the hill in the opening game of the three game series and in 19 career starts against the birds, the lefty is a career 14-0 with a 2.47 ERA; simply outstanding. For the record, he has shutout the Orioles during his starts five times and have only given up four runs or more only twice; the first back in 2006 and the other (5 runs) on September 1, 2010.
His only start against Baltimore this year was on May 4 at Fenway, a no decision in which the southpaw worked in 6.0 innings, giving up 3 earned runs on 5 hits while walking 3 and fanning 2.
Last season Lester went 1-0 in two starts with a 2.57 ERA over 14 IP and 8 hits. You may recall one of those starts was the last game of the year on September 28 in which is forever burned into Red Sox fan’s minds as a black, dark day. It should be noted that Lester was pretty good when the club needed him, going 6 innings while only allowing 2 runs on 4 hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out 5 while pitching on just three days rest.
Lester squares off against Jason Hammel who beat the Red Sox back on May 5, a game in which he dominated going 6.2IP, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits while striking out 8 in what turned out to be an 8-2 drubbing of the Red Sox as part of that ugly 3-game sweep at Fenway Park. It was also the debut and only start thus far for Aaron Cook. Remember that one in which he had a 1,2,3 first inning only to get spiked in the second and then fell apart. Hammel was the other pitcher who didn’t allow the Red Sox to do much so tonight’s match up should be a good one with Lester trying to stay perfect against the O’s.