May 31, 2011

Lowrie Has Stiff Shoulder; Jenks Returns Tonight

Jed Lowrie was not in last night's lineup because he hurt his left shoulder in a collision with Carl Crawford in Sunday's first game. He expects to play tonight.
They're calling it a contusion. It's not structural or any tear or anything like that. ... It's gotten better since [Sunday] night. It's just stiff.
Bobby Jenks, who has not pitched since May 1 because of biceps tendinitis, will be activated from the disabled list today. Michael Bowden will likely be sent down. After a poor April (5.13 ERA), the Boston bullpen has had a very strong May, with a 3.87 ERA and an AL-best 3.07 K-to-BB ratio.

Jon Lester had command of only one pitch last night: his cutter. He threw it 43 times, more than any other pitch.
I had no command of my fastball. I threw a couple decent changeups, and I think I threw one curveball for a strike just because I got a checked swing at it. It was really the only pitch I could command, so we had to use it.
Lester will get a couple of extra days of rest before his next start, in Yankee Stadium a week from tonight.

Peter Abraham posted some data on how often Lester uses his various pitches and thinks he's stubbornly relying too much on his cutter, trying to trick hitters instead of attacking them. (I have expanded and added to his data, thanks to Fangraphs.)
         FB      CUT    CURVE  CHANGE
2009    54.4%   19.6%   19.4%    6.6%
2010    50.4%   22.0%   16.0%   11.6%
2011    47.6%   27.9%   14.0%   10.4%
Career  54.6%   19.7%   16.5%    7.3%
His highest cutter percentage for a full-season is 22% (2007, 2008, and 2010). This year's fastball rate is the lowest of his career, by far. However, 10% of Lester's pitches this year are "unknown", compared to an average of 2.4% in other years, so that's affecting the numbers.

Clay Buchholz has been bothered by a sore back for several starts this year. He is scheduled to face Oakland this Friday night.
[S]ometimes it bites a little bit more in some particular outings. It's something that I constantly have to stretch every game when I feel it just to keep it loose ...
Dustin Pedroia, after having no RBI in 17 games (May 3-22), has driven in eight runs in his last seven games (though he's batting only .233 in that time). ... Drew Sutton worked as a body double for Justin Timberlake in 2008 for the movie "The Open Road". ... The Red Sox took a league-administered drug test before last night's game.

A post at Beyond The Box Score led me to Junk Stats, which looks very entertaining.

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