Sean McAdam, over at CSNNE, has a nice article up on Lester's usual April struggles, which he's finally bucked this season.
Until this year, Lester's career April record of 3-6 with an ERA of 4.76 was the lone blemish on Lester's first four seasons. The same pitcher with the second-best winning percentage (.709) since 1900 could not for the life of him put it together in the first month.
Each season, Terry Francona would predict that Lester would eventually find his rhythm and go on one of his patented, dominant runs, stretches that would invariably find Lester with 17 or so wins at the end of the season. And each season Lester would, in time, do just that.
After a rough outing on Opening Day, Lester has since allowed six runs over his last 34 innings for a 1.58 ERA.
"I wish I had an answer for why in years past it's been that way and why this year's different. But I don't know. I didn't change anything."
We shouldn't be entirely shocked that he's been so dominating early. There's a very good reason that many "experts" (be careful using that word around these parts) pick him to not only win the Cy Young, but are calling him the best left-handed pitcher in the majors.
Still, though, based on past performances, there's nothing wrong with taking a moment to give the man some well-deserved praise. Lester's put together quite a dominating stretch to end the first month of the season. Here's to hoping for more of the same in May.