October 6, 2009

A Mature Lester Gets The Ball In Game 1

Jon Lester will get the ball for Game 1 of the ALDS against the Angels for the second post-season in a row. In last year's ALDS, he allowed only one unearned run in 14 innings against Los Angeles.

Lester:
I've come to realize that as long as my thoughts and purpose are in the right place, then it doesn't matter what happens after that. I can't control, once the ball leaves my hand, what happens. Nothing in my mechanics has changed. Mentally, I'm more prepared to pitch. That just comes from experience, having that routine.
Terry Francona:
I think he understands attacking hitters. I think that cutter has become an even bigger weapon, the more comfort he gets with it. He just has more comfort throwing all his pitches. The curveball was a work in progress [before]. Now it's a pitch. The changeup has more of a presence.
In talking about the post-season, Theo Epstein was his usual pragmatic self.
How we're going to play in October, nobody can answer that. The track record of a lot of these players is that they answer the bell when it matters most. ...

I try not to have too many gut feelings about the roster, because then if you rely solely on your gut, your gut changes. If you followed the public perception of this team, even over the past six weeks, it was, "We can't score runs for six games, we're dead in the water."

That creeps into everyone's analysis, but that's more how you feel in your gut. Then all of a sudden, we're world beaters and everyone's pick to win the World Series, and now I feel like the last week or 10 days, "Oh no, they're limping in, they're backing in again." All that doesn't really mean anything. All that matter is: How good are we, and how are we going to play in October?
Some comparisons between the Red Sox and Angels.
              Red Sox       Angels 
Runs 872 (3rd) 883 (2nd)
OBP .352 (2nd) .350 (3rd)
SLG .454 (2nd) .441 (4th)
ERA 4.35 (7th) 4.45 (9th)
Starter ERA 4.63 (8th) 4.44 (4th)
Relief ERA 3.80 (2nd) 4.49 (11th)
In the last three LDS against the Angels -- 2004, 2007 and 2008 -- the Red Sox are 9-1.

Jonathan Papelbon has yet to allow a run in the post-season. In 25 innings over 16 games, he has allowed 10 hits and six walks while striking out 22.
I feel stronger than I have entering any other postseason before, even '07. ... I made plenty of adjustments this year. Now I feel like I'm in that zone. I love pressure.
Bot walked more batters this year (24) than he did in 2007 and 2008 combined (15 and eight), but it did not translate into any more runs allowed. His 1.85 ERA was identical to his mark in 2007 and better than last year's 2.35.

Bot's last blown save was back on July 28 (JoS night at Fenway). Since then, he has pitched 25 innings in 23 games. He has allowed 15 hits and racked up 31 strikeouts.

The performance of the bullpens could well be the most crucial aspect of this series. And if that is the case, Boston has a huge advantage. The Angels' bullpen finished 11th among the 14 AL teams in teams in ERA. The three worst pens -- Baltimore, Kansas City and Cleveland -- belonged to the teams with the three worst winning percentages in the league.

18 comments:

Zenslinger said...

Detroit breaking through against Scott Baker in the third. I'm glad - I think they have a better chance of beating the Yanks.

Zenslinger said...

Don't read the chat with "Hall of Famer Joe Morgan" on ESPN today!

Excerpt:

Steve (Middletown, CT)

Who is your NL CY Young winner?

Joe Morgan
(11:17 AM)

I would give it to Wainwright, but there are a lot of people that believe that Carpenter deserves it. Wainwright pitched more innings, he was there the whole year. Carpenter had the injury. Wainwright led the league in wins and had more innings than Lincecum and Carpenter. ERA and strikeouts don't impress me as much as wins do. The name of the game is to win.

redsock said...

Comments are back!!!!

Det 3-1 (bot 6)

redsock said...

i think i missed a dong

det 3-2 (bot 6)

redsock said...

A common question to ask this time of year, but I still wonder if it was Joebaiting.

redsock said...

holy shit, twins loaded with 2 outs in bot 6, trail 3-2

Zenslinger said...

Think it was first and third, but, still -- exciting game! Minne is burning their relievers, but Porcello is also out.

Zenslinger said...

O-Cab HR! Minne's looking good.

Zenslinger said...

Nathan's in in the eighth, 4-4 tie.

Wish I wasn't at work!

Amy said...

Going to extra innings... Harv is happy. Wants these teams tired out, whichever wins. I am pissed.

redsock said...

On to the 11th!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments are fucked up again.

Zenslinger said...

They are messed up. But so is this game! Play at the plate to prevent the winning run and all that jazz. Wild.

Ish said...

I'm pretty sure I just heard Chip Caray say Brian Anderson will do the Rockies/Phillies series, Caray for the Yankees series, then Dick Stockton doing the Cardinals/Dodgers...


GOOD NEWS! That means we get Don Orsillo!!

Bad news? We also get Buck "David OR-tiz" Martinez.

Amy said...

Yeah, what happened to my comment from the top of the tenth. :(

Amy said...

Hmm, Orlando Cabrera the hero of the game...knew we never should have let him go. ;)

A Conformer said...

So, I get the 3:30 start for games 1 and 2. Woohoo. At least game 3 might be at 6PM, that's pretty much prime time.

Has any series in recent memory been as lopsided on paper as the Twins-MFY one? Who the fuck is Duensing, anyway?
And BTW, the play-in games these last few years have all been great. It's almost too perfect.

L-girl said...

Hmm, Orlando Cabrera the hero of the game...knew we never should have let him go. ;)

As soon as he hit it, I said: Amy will say, see, we should have kept him. :-D

L-girl said...

Don't read the chat with "Hall of Famer Joe Morgan" on ESPN today!

I think we just did. ;)