- Jon Lester
- The bats waking up
- Bullish about the bullpen
- Coco and Lugo's resurgence
- The 'other' Manny
First and foremost, what a wonderful night for the Lester family. In front of his Mum and Dad, Jon Lester made in incredible 2007 debut for the Red Sox. He looked strong, composed and pitched his way out of his only jam in the fourth inning by blowing a 93mph heater past the dangerous Grady Sizemore. To me, Lester's fastball, consistently between 90-93, actually 'looked' faster, it looked like it picked up some extra life as it approached the plate.
That's what you look for in a pitcher, that extra zip or life. Take Kyle Farnsworth. He can throw 100mph, but many Major Leaguers say it is the flattest 90+ fastball they have ever seen. Radar guns really mean nothing, a ball has life out of pitchers arm, or it doesn't. Last night the ball was positively dancing out of Jon Lester's hand.
I am a bit shocked at some of the established sports writers take on the current 'sitch' with Schilling coming back soon and the fact there is going to be an odd man out between Lester and Gabbard. Take Eric Wilbur for example, saying ''Lester himself is being showcased.'' Say what now? Wilbur was on holidays all last week so maybe the sun got to him.
Why on earth would the Red Sox even think about trading Jon Lester? A 23 year old power lefty with a proven ability to pitch out of trouble in the big leagues? With Schilling possibly walking next year as a free agent? Not to mention the strong emotional aspect to the story. Trading Lester would lead to a riot in both Red Sox Nation and the clubhouse.
If Gabbard or Lester need to go back to AAA when Schilling comes back, so be it. The Sox won't trade away either, why should they? There's simply no need. Imagine the 2008 rotation if Schilling walks, Beckett, Matsuzaka, Lester, Gabbard and old man Wakefield. I'd buy that for a dollar.
The bats waking up
The Sox seem to have found their offensive mojo again. They broke a three-game losing streak Friday night with a 10-run outburst against the White Sox and that was followed by 11 runs Saturday, eight Sunday, and another six last night. The shocking part of that? Three of those games were without the injured David Ortiz (who's back tomorrow probably, by the by).
Bullish about the bullpen
With another three scoreless innings last night, the Sox bullpen has a 1.42 ERA over its last 19 innings. For those of you keeping score at home, that is impressive. The 'Pen now looks pretty set, with Delcarmen/Timlin working the seventh, Okajima the eigth and Papelbon the ninth. To understate wildly for a moment, the Red Sox are going to win more games than they lose with that setup in place.
Coco and Lugo's resurgence
Last night Crisp went 4 for 5 with three runs. Lugo was 1 for 4, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. The two are slapping the ball all over the place, getting on base at a crazy clip, and continuing to show more speed on the base paths than the Sox have had since Otis Nixon was in town.
The 'other' Manny
How about the kid from Hyde Park? Big Manny Delcarmen continued to show signs he 'gets it' with another strong outing. Delcarmen entered to get the last out of the eighth inning, striking out Ryan Garko with Casey Blake on first base. He even picked up his first major league save.