June 6, 2009

G56: Red Sox 8, Rangers 1

Rangers - 000 000 001 - 1  2  1
Red Sox - 010 034 00x - 8 9 0
Lester retired the first 19 Rangers with as strong a repertoire of pitches as Red Sox fans have seen in several years.

Fastball, cutter, curveball -- he was absolute command of all of them. His fastball was hitting 98 in the early innings and coupled with a 81 mph cutter -- "evil, depraved filth", as Lord Lynch said during the game thread -- the Texas batters had no clue what was going on. In 6.1 perfect innings, Lester threw only 64 pitches, yet racked up 10 strikeouts!

In the fifth inning, it seemed like there was only one way this game could possibly turn out. I had the overpowering feeling of knowing the ending and the sense that I was rewatching the game, reveling in the majesty of Lester's performance. I can't recall another instance of that feeling of inevitability.

Michael Young broke the tension with a first-pitch double to left-center in the seventh. After acknowledging a loud standing ovation, Lester walked Andruw Jones, but got the next two outs. He breezed through a 1-2-3 eighth. Elvis Andrus walked to start the ninth, moved to second on a grounder, took third on Young's single to left and scored on Jones's fly out to center.

Three pitches later, the game was over. 9-2-1-2-11, 107. Masterful.

Also: David Ortiz walked, singled and homered (off the right field pole) in four plate appearances. Mike Lowell also hit a dong. Dustin Pedroia had two singles and two RBI, Jason Variek and Rocco Baldelli both singled and walked, and Jason Bay whacked a two-run single to cap a 10-pitch at-bat and send Holland to the showers in the fifth.

Boston is in sole possession of first place, 0.5 GA of the Yankees.

***

Derek Holland (6.33, 72 ERA+) / Jon Lester (5.65, 85 ERA+)

Holland is a 22-year-old lefty who has pitched in only 11 major league games, including nine in relief. After his two starts on May 22 and 27, he was back in the pen for two appearances.

BP 2009:
Even the Rangers don't have a good explanation for what happened to Derek Holland last year, and frankly, they don't care, they're just enjoying it. One of the last of the draft-and-follows, Holland had signed with an average fastball, but he kicked off the year at Low-A Clinton touching 95 on the speed gun (2.40 ERA), and by the end of the season, it was there consistently while reaching as high as 99 mph [0.69 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 26 AA innings], and he fills the strike zone with it. It's an absolute monster of a pitch, and he'll be a future stud if he can figure out a more breaking ball than his current slurvy offering. That will be his primary focus in 2009, and will determine his future as either a power starter or power reliever, but he'll be awfully valuable either way.
After his dreadful performance last night, Julio Lugo will get a seat on the bench and Nick Green will start.

***

Terry Francona and Theo Epstein both tried to stamp down the story of David Ortiz possibly having vision trouble.

Tito:
I had a feeling this one would get some legs. ... He had dry eyes on this last trip and he was blinking on a couple of at-bats. So he went to the trainers. Rather than give a guy a thing of eyedrops, we have really good ophthalmologists . He had some dry eyes, which I think we all do [at times].
[While searching for the word "optometrist", Tito initially said "obstetrician" -- and once everything was clarified, he said: "If he ends up pregnant on Tuesday, we have an issue!"]

Theo:
We used probably the most experienced baseball ophthalmologist. ... He has lots of fancy charts and graphs. Even if a player is 20-20, they'll still push for a correction because an average big leaguer is significantly better than 20-20. David tested really well back in Spring Training. But it makes sense, any time a guys eyes are bothering him, to get re-tested.
***

At 1 PM: Rays/Yankees and Royals/Blue Jays. New York leads the East by 0.5 over Boston and 2.5 over Toronto.

249 comments:

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redsock said...

Lord, .... wha?

L-girl said...

that's 19

L-girl said...

that's it. a hit.

redsock said...

shit.

L-girl said...

yay lester, well done!!!

Lord Lynch said...

Dash, damn and blast.

redsock said...

so finish the 1-hitter, sid

L-girl said...

NOW you can go to sleep, lord

Kevin said...

Ah damn, not to be tonight.

L-girl said...

you know, right before the hit, castiglione said who had the last no-hitter and the last perfect game

he said both

as another commenter often says "I'm just sayin'"

Pepe Lepew said...

Oh, well. Back to hockey in a few.
We're winning big and the Yankees choked like dogs today. And Lester still beat cancer.

Lord Lynch said...

I missed Clay's due to drunkenness, and I missed Lester's because of work the next day.

One day I'll see one.

L-girl said...

good night, lord. one day you will!

L-girl said...

Pepe, what's the score in the hockey game?

Lord Lynch said...

Night all! Don't lose this lead for me now....

Kevin said...

Sit

11 Ks

Shutout still intact

Pepe Lepew said...

Pepe, what's the score in the hockey game?

1-0 Wings. One of the few non-Swedes for Detroit scored. :)

redsock said...

eck: lester should be mad at his teammates for taking so long scoring those runs ... it's benson's fault.

L-girl said...

"1-0 Wings. One of the few non-Swedes for Detroit scored. :)"

My only stake in it is a good friend from Pittsburgh.

redsock said...

hmmm, papi *does* look like he's in his second trimester...

Pepe Lepew said...

Meh. 2-0. Some Finn scored. Gotta go. :)

L-girl said...

back to it, 1 pitch, 1 out

redsock said...

Lugo, via AP:
"It's tough. Nobody wants to be booed. Not me, not anybody. Sometimes the only person who knows what's going on or why you miss a ball is you because you're the only one out there. You know what happened.
"It's not fair to anyone, not me or anybody. If you try to make a play like that and you get destroyed by you guys (media) the next day, it's not fair. ...
"Are you OK if somebody comes one day and another day you're not working? Then that's how I feel. I love Boston. I love it. There's nowhere else you want to play. I'll tell you the truth, I think fans have been fair to me."

***

Tito: "The communication, I don't think is bad, but I don't think he always likes what I tell him. Somebody needs to sit on the bench every day and be available"

L-girl said...

I hate Boston fans booing any of our players, including Lugo. I can't stand him either, but I hate the booing.

redsock said...

PC 90

He better be out there!

Kevin said...

OTT

When was the last time the Sox had a one-hitter? Schilling's?

redsock said...

1st pitch to green was the top of the zone strike lester did not get against davis last inning. fuckin' kulpa.

L-girl said...

"When was the last time the Sox had a one-hitter? Schilling's?"

You're right - Castig just said this.

redsock said...

Fewest hits allowed in a 2009 game before tonight: 3

Fewest in 2008: 0 by Lester and 3 2-hitters

2007: HH 0H, Curt 1H, Wake 2H.

Yep.

L-girl said...

Sounds like the 1 hit today was the only thing even close. Were there any no-hit-saving plays? Didn't sound like it.

redsock said...

the liner to fy was hard hit but right at him, though low.

baldelli jogged after his fly.

nothing difficult, though.

redsock said...

saito up

L-girl said...

Young again!

redsock said...

A minute after saying shutouts don't matter, Eck says at least that hit didn't ruin the shutout!

Kevin said...

And we STILL have yet to shut out an opponent.

L-girl said...

That's what I meant last night about Eck. He seems to just say whatever's in his head. Don't look to him for consistency.

L-girl said...

disgustingly filthy water

L-girl said...

9:34 and we're done!

L-girl said...

"And we STILL have yet to shut out an opponent."

If we stay in 1st place til October, I don't care if we never shut out an opponent again.

Kevin said...

Very impressive game, 2 hits, 2 walks, 11 Ks, 9IP.

I think it's safe to say the 2008 version of Jon Lester is back.

redsock said...

We're saving the shutouts for October.

L-girl said...

Beautiful game. Masterful.

Kevin said...

"If we stay in 1st place til October, I don't care if we never shut out an opponent again."

True. Still, it would be nice if we could pull it off once in a while.

L-girl said...

It actually doesn't matter to me at all. Winning is winning is winning.

Kevin said...

"We're saving the shutouts for October."

Ah. If so, I like this strategy.

L-girl said...

See you all tomorrow!

9casey said...

L-girl said...
That's what I meant last night about Eck. He seems to just say whatever's in his head. Don't look to him for consistency.



Didn't we agree the other night consistency was overreated.....

Great win...that was fun to watch especially the first 6

L-girl said...

"Didn't we agree the other night consistency was overreated....."

Yes! But so is Eck. :)

Benjamin said...

Finally got to tune in just as Lester gave up the double in the seventh. Looks like I missed a hell of a game.

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