Oh Jon Lester, how do I love thee? I cannot even count the ways. They are far too numerous. I mean, I obviously love Jon's pitching, and his ability to almost be Josh Beckett, but now I get to love him for his hitting, too? Yes, I know he didn't actually notch a hit, but he did walk, and he did drive in a run on a sacrifice fly that if it had just gone another few feet would have been a grand slam.... I'm just saying. Jon did it all to cap off interleague play.
One day after we had to use the entire pen to cover for an injured Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester told the rest of the pitching staff to sit the hell down and watch how it's done. On the mound in the opposite halves of the innings was Tim Lincecum. Now, I've never seen Lincecum pitch before, but considering he's got 2 Cy Youngs under his belt in his short career, I reckon that he's probably a decent pitcher. Luckily for us, even decent pitchers have bad days, and Tim definitely had a bad day. He lasted three innings, giving up five hits and four runs, mixing in three walks (one intentional walk of Ronald) and four strikeouts. How many innings did Jonny last? Nine. Yup, complete game. We needed it so badly out of him, and usually when we need him the most, he comes through. Jon also allowed 5 hits, but only 1 run and 1 walk while piling up 9 strikeouts. That is my definition of awesome. For the season, Jon is 9-3, with a 2.86 ERA. And yes, we're sure this is the same guy who was looking like toast in April.
Our offense, despite piling 11 hits and five runs on the San Francisco pitching staff, managed to strike out 15 times. How on Earth does a team strike out fifteen times and still win a game? I don't know, but I'm glad they did. Papi got it started with a solo home run in the first. Do you know Papi is now batting .252 with 16 home runs? It seemed like just yesterday that he was batting .140. No, .252 isn't amazing, but look at that other number again. It makes the first one much nicer looking.
In the top of the second, after a walk to Martinez, a double to Hall, and an IBB to Ronald, Jonny came up to bat and smashed one to the 420 marker. Man, any other direction it would have been a GS, but he hit it to the deepest part of the park. Still, VMart would come in to score. Scutaro followed that up with an RBI single to bring Bill Hall in, and the Sox ended the inning with a 3-1 lead. Just for the heck of it, Hall (who was filling in for the wounded Munchkin) singled in Youk in the third. In the top of the ninth, Beltre hit a solo home run to give us our final score of 5-1.
Oh, but what would a game in San Francisco be without an injury. Sure enough, for the third time in three days, we walk off the field with one player less than we started with. This time, VMart got bitten by the injury bug and ended up fracturing his left thumb. Goodness. Yes, this means that Tek is going to be the starting catcher, but that worries me. He has been doing so well as a backup, I'm afraid the extra playing time is going to wear him out. I want him to be able to come off the bench fresh and contribute to the team. I just hope he's still able to do that. Luckily, Victor isn't going to require surgery, but he is requiring a (hopefully short) trip on the DL. Hooray for us. Also, Dusty Brown and Mark Wagner of Pawtucket are also on the DL, so they won't be coming up to help us. Gustavo Molina is being called up to take his place.
The very injured Sox needed Monday's off-day. Tonight, they'll be facing Sharky Shields and the Tampa Bay Rays... which sounds like a really bad children's show. We have Lackey on the mound. Let's just hope no one gets hurt!
3 weeks ago