The consensus at SoSH was that he did well: a little wild (overthrowing his fastball), but his breaking stuff and changeup were good, as was his composure. Varitek seemed to call for the fastball too often in the early innings. The umpiring behind the plate was wildly inconsistent, which obviously didn't help. On his departure, Laura wrote me: "As he left the mound, he looked overwhelmed, like he was choking back emotion. To his standing O, he did the hat-tip-that's-a-cap-adjustment thing, didn't look up, looked like he wasn't sure if he should or could. Very nice."
Lester's line was nothing special: 4.2-5-3-2-4-4, 102. He left in the fifth with the score tied at 3-3. Julian Tavarez came in and was very good, retiring the first six Rangers he faced, but he wilted in the seventh, loading the bases and then (when he should have been pulled) allowing a two-run single.
After Manny Ramirez brought Boston to within a run (5-4) with an opposite field home run in the eighth -- the 450th of his career -- Keith Foulke (on 10 days rest) surrendered a two-run shot to Hank Blalock in the ninth. The Sox went in order in the bottom of the ninth.
7:00 PM -- Doubleheader tomorrow: games at 12 and 5.
5:40 PM -- Tarp back on. Second game cancelled. Start time for today's game set, for now, at 6:15.
4:40 PM -- A rainy afternoon in Boston has delayed things for hours. Sounds like one game will start about 5:15 with Lester getting the ball. I'd say it's doubtful the second game gets played (when would it start -- 10 PM?)
Sunshine among the raindrops: Jeter struck out looking to end Oakland's 5-2 win the Bronx.
Lefthander Jon Lester, 22, makes his major league debut this afternoon in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.
I saw him this spring, and I didn't see him pitch that well, but you could see a lot of things in him, why people are in love with him. He competes, he's left-handed, he's got a great body, he's got three or four different pitches, he commands. He's on his way to being a very solid major league pitcher and, hopefully, this will be a good first step.Lester put up a 6.94 ERA in 11.2 innings in April, but since May 1, his ERA has been 1.29. In 11 starts for Pawtucket, he is 3-4, 2.70.
Lester got the start when Matt Clement, bothered by muscle twinges and spasms in his right shoulder and biceps, asked if his start could be moved back to Sunday. Clement:
I requested a couple of extra days, which is something I've never done in my career. ... I've just been having a tough time recovering this time. If I could guess, I'd say it's a combination of two things - the changing of my mechanics and how much work I did between starts. ... I've had a lot of things in my career that I've pitched through that I've probably been stupid to do a lot of times, but ... it's just feeling weird enough that I felt I needed to do this.Lester / John Rheinecker, 1 PM