Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Game 28: Jon Lester, Stopper

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 1, Toronto Blue Jays 0

Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but how much do the Blue Jays suck right now? Lester allows four walks and one hit (through eight innings, but still), and no one scores? Oh - he didn't allow them consecutively. That's probably the key, huh.

Oh, who am I kidding: Lester came in, faced down Doc Halladay and the five game losing streak like Frank McLaury at the O.K. Corral, only with less gunfire and a better fastball. And not dying at the end of the fight, either. Anyway, he rocked, and rocked hard, and Youkilis - who had as much of a right as anyone to get that winning hit, going two for four against a tough pitcher - well, he rocked hard, too, putting that 1 and 0 middle-in fastball just far enough out into center for Big Papi to chug his way home from second for the win.

So remember about ten days ago how I said Lester needs pressure to perform? Tonight would appear to be another example to add to the proof pile: Lester pitched roughly the same number of innings, struck out the same number of batters, and allowed the same number of base runners (but did not, ever so fortunately, allow the same number of runs) as one of baseball's premiere pitchers, on a night when his team desperately needed him to perform. I'd say he's gunning for the Big Game title pretty hard - now he just needs the same level of enthusiasm when the offense scores him some runs.

By the way: happy fourth birthday, Keep Your Sox On! It's been a great four years, and Robin and I are both very happy (and grateful) all of you readers come to check us out every day. Thanks for sticking with us...