Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Game 99: Jon Lester, No Longer a Clubhouse Cancer

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 6, Cleveland Indians 2

The return of Jon Lester is the biggest feel good story of this Red Sox season. No, not just because Joel Pineiro was DFA’ed and Tavarez was sent to the pen… the man came back from cancer to play baseball! If that doesn’t make you sit back and say “wow” then you must have been completely desensitized by the millions of human interest stories that this has spawned. Actually, that may have happened. I mean this guy is basically Lance Armstrong without steroid allegations and Frenchman hatred. That alone should be enough to saint Lester.

Now combine that with the fact that he pitched pretty freaking good

Yeah it’s amazing. He got into a few jams (highlighted perfectly with shots of his mother doubled over in the stands with her head in her hands), but like the Houdini he was last season, he managed to wiggle his way past the walks (the ump was AWFUL). Some well timed double plays and some HUGE strikeouts were all he needed to secure his first of what I hope will be MANY victories this season. Rejoice for the healed Jon Lester and take him to the hallowed halls of Sox lore. Move some bloody socks and Ortiz walk-offs… we’ll find some room.

Lester isn’t alone in this comeback parade. Timlin looks like he is officially back from the old folk’s home with another inning plus of solid relief, Delcarmen is back from his vacation of suck he had with the White Sox and the offense is back even without Papi (still resting the sore shoulder) and it’s all because of Manny swinging a big stick again and Coco hitting everything in sight (10 hits in 3 games). This is the Sox team I signed up for! 4 wins in a row baby!

So the win was great, and the story was great, and the atmosphere was great, but we need to realize this may not be a permanent thing with Jon boy. How long the golden child Lester will stay with the big club is uncertain. When Schilling comes back in August it will either be Gabbo or Lester sent down to make AAA starts cause it’s no use wasting either of them in the pen. However long it is, it’s great to have Jon “Tough as Nails” Lester back in the rotation. Just keep him away from Cheryl Crow and everything will work out fine.