Sunday, May 23, 2010

Jon Lester on Thursday: So Good

Goodness, I am about three or four days behind in my blogging but there have been two games (looking like three soon) that I really want to make sure I write about, because they were just that damn good. I wrote about Dahmer on Wednesday, but Jon Lester on Thursday was just as good. Actually, he was 2/3rds of an inning better, going nine innings and only tossing 104 pitches. I thought Clay had been economical? Well, he had, but Jon was just slightly more economical. I like that our pitching has been picking up the slack for their crappiness earlier in the season. Sure, both of them gave up two runs, but both of them came away with wins, and they both have ERAs under 4 and WHIPs under 1.5 (though Lester's, as mentioned in the previous post, is clearly better at 1.14). Jon ranks 30th in MLB with his 1.14 WHIP. I'm not really sure why I commented on that, but I think its worth mentioning that he's the only Boston pitcher in the top 50. Clay Buchholz, second in Boston with WHIP, comes in at 77th.

Jon actually had a very tough assignment against Liriano for his 100th career start. Liriano, though he hadn't been at his best in the last couple of seasons, has really put it back together, and he was pitching incredibly well. Then again, despite his typical rough start to the season, Jon put himself together quite nicely. One of my friends was going to her first game at Fenway on Thursday, and I have to say, she couldn't have asked for a better initiation to the Fenway Faithful. She got fantastic pitching and timely hitting. Sure, we had an error, but the defense was pretty spot on. I mean, jeez, Jon didn't even give up his first run until the 8th inning. I imagine he was probably starting to get a little tired, but it's fine. The offense gave him a 6-run cushion, and he didn't even need all of it.

VMart, Youk, and Beltre led the way. The offense combined for eight hits and five RBI's. Seven of those hits and all five of the RBI's came from those three. The other hit was courtesy of Ronald McDonald. Sure, everyone else had an 0-fer night, but you can't have it all, right? Youk and Beltre had HR's, and Victor had, I believe 3 hits. I mean, what more could we ask for?

It amazes me to see how far Jon has come as a pitcher. His first start as a member of the Red Sox came on June 10th, 2006 against Texas. He didn't get a decision. He went 4.1 innings, giving up 3 runs on five hits and four walks with four strikeouts. Now, in his fifth season with the Sox, on his 100th start, he went nine innings giving up 2 runs on six hits and no walks with nine strikeouts. I don't know what else to say. I'm feeling all nostalgic and reflective about Jonny, and I continue to be so impressed by what he's made himself into. I'm so glad that the Sox didn't give up on him or trade him away. He's come a long way, and it's been an absolutely fun ride.

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