Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“I thought he had his best stuff of the year tonight,” Valentine said. “His curveball and his cutter had hitters jumping back, and the two-seamer was electric.”
Lester (3-4, 4.79 ERA) allowed four runs on a season-high 10 hits in 62⁄3 innings, but he did not issue a walk and struck out seven. He ran into trouble in the first and third innings, but he was able to stay effective deep in the game and ultimately took a no-decision.
Lester threw 120 pitches, two shy of his season high which happened in a 1-0 victory against the White Sox in Chicago on April 28. He gave the bullpen a needed reprieve last night but was frustrated that he could not keep the Tigers offense down.
“I thought I did have (my best stuff),” Lester said. “But it is frustrating to have good stuff and get whacked around.
“That being said, and more importantly, I tried to go deep in the game, and the guys gave me a chance to win. That is all you can ask for. This was a big, big team win.”
Herald: Jon Lester's stuff all there
Jon Lester scattered 10 hits and gave up 4 runs over 6 2/3. To the naked eye, that is not a stat line that warrants a response saying Lester had his stuff working. Apparently, he did...in a subtle way. He also struck out 7 which does back his and Valentine's argument that the stuff was working.
Seven strikeouts is pretty good for a 6 2/3 inning outing, but none of those strikeouts were to Detroit batters 3-6. I'm not taking anything away from Lester... well, I am, just a little. I am just saying the outing could have been a little better, but you can't expect perfection every game. They won, they are only 2 1/2 games out of first and 2 games over .500. I'll take it.
Related: CSNNE: Valentine: Lester had 'best stuff of the year'
On Page 2, Dustin Pedroia gets a custom brace for thumb.
The piece of equipment that might spare Dustin Pedroia an unwanted trip to the disabled list is a customized thumb brace that has been molded to fit his exact grip on the bat.
But it will be another few days before the Red Sox know if it will be enough.
Diagnosed Tuesday night with a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb, Pedroia practiced gripping a bat while wearing the brace yesterday but has been told not to try hitting until the swelling subsides. Once that happens, if he’s able to tolerate swinging the bat, he could return by next week. Otherwise, he likely will need to go on the DL.
“I don’t have to show them anything,” Pedroia said. “I’ve played with injuries before. It’s just a matter of me being able to swing with a brace on it.”
Herald: Dustin Pedroia braces for best
All I can say is, I hope this thing works. I can't take any more of Nick Punto and I do not want to see Jose Iglesias in Boston. Jose is finally getting comfortable at the plate in AAA and swinging a decent bat. A trip to Boston in the middle of his fine-tuning could be devastating to his offensive game. We'll just have to see what happens when Pedey tries to swing.
Related: Globe: Pedroia braced, but no roster move yet
Rest of the links: