Blog Entry

Against Lester, the Yankees looked 'scary' good

Posted on: September 24, 2011 8:29 pm
NEW YORK -- Was Jon Lester that bad Saturday?

Or are the Yankees that good right now?

One rival scout thinks it's the latter.

"His velocity was good," said the scout, who is advancing the Red Sox for the playoffs. "They hit good pitches. Good teams hit good pitches. And [the Yankees] are so good it's scary."

The Yankees clinched the American League East Wednesday night, but they started their "A" lineup Saturday, and it produced eight runs and eight hits in just 2 2/3 innings against Lester, the Red Sox ace.

Lester has had three sub-par starts in a row -- the other two against the Rays -- which could lead you to believe that it's not just the Yankees. It could also lead you to believe that Lester is hurt, but the scout's report and Lester's own answers say that he's not.

"I'm not tired," Lester said. "I'm not hurt. There's nothing wrong with me."

Later, he suggested that he agreed with the scout that good pitches were getting hit.

"You make a pitch on the black, and it gets hit 400 feet," he said.

The Yankees have an outstanding offensive team, and in five starts against them this year (including Saturday), Lester has give up 19 runs in 25 2/3 innings, for a 6.66 ERA. Lester's ERA against the rest of baseball is 2.98.

Still, it's shocking for the Red Sox to see Lester struggle, and the problem is two-fold.

First, Lester's poor month has made it significantly harder to clinch a playoff spot, since he and Josh Beckett are the two starters the Red Sox must count on. Second, if the Red Sox make the playoffs but Lester's problems continue into October, it's hard to see them winning.

"Watching him struggle is hard for all of us," David Ortiz said. "This guy is the heart and soul of our pitching staff."

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that if there was one positive Saturday, it was that Lester threw just 55 pitches, and should be fine to work on short rest Wednesday, if the Red Sox need him in their final regular-season game. Lester said he figures his season isn't over, "one way or the other."

But one scout advancing the Red Sox figures Boston's season won't go past Thursday. He joked that he was going home Saturday night, "because they're not making the playoffs."

If they don't, Jon Lester will be one of the reasons.

Category: MLB

Since: Dec 2, 2011
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Against Lester, the Yankees looked 'scary' good

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Against Lester, the Yankees looked 'scary' good

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
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Against Lester, the Yankees looked 'scary' good

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 10:24 pm

Against Lester, the Yankees looked 'scary' good

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 2, 2011 8:53 pm

Against Lester, the Yankees looked 'scary' good

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Since: Nov 27, 2011
Posted on: November 27, 2011 9:28 am

Against Lester, the Yankees looked 'scary' good

Since: Oct 24, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 1:24 pm

Against Lester, the Yankees looked 'scary' good

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Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 21, 2011 2:59 pm
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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:15 pm

Against Lester, the Yankees looked 'scary' good

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Since: Aug 1, 2010
Posted on: September 25, 2011 5:21 pm

Against Lester, the Yankees looked 'scary' good

I don't necessarily think the Yankees looked "scary" against Lester. The real question is without Lester and Beckett performing at the level they are normally do the Red Sox should be a little scared of what to do with the likes of Lackey and Wakefield who must pick up the slack at a time when their offensive has taken an early vacation... 

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