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.
Have the Red Sox gone to every member of the organization, sought their input and tried to implement their ideas and suggestions in order to fix Lester?
Let’s hope so, because if any member of this rotation is worth losing sleep over, it’s Lester.
Without Lester — the recognizable Lester — the Red Sox are without an ace.
They’re not going anywhere this season without one of those.
“If we knew, we’d be working on correcting it,” manager Bobby Valentine said after Lester took the loss last night in a 7-5 setback to the Chicago White Sox. “He’s working as hard as anyone, thinking about things as much as anyone, maybe thinking too much, who knows?”
Herald | Jon Lester's in a real bad way
It's hard to know what to say about Lester at this point. He doesn't appear to be hurt. He's just not the same guy.
Fangraphs suggests he's been unlucky. His xFIP is 3.63, which would obviously be an acceptable (if not outstanding) ERA. His BABIP is .331, 50 points higher than last year. Is he just getting unlucky on the number of balls put in play that are dropping in?
His K/9 and BB/9 are both down, which I guess means that hitters are making more contact in general. Maybe he doesn't have as good feel for his pitches, so he's not taking as many chances on the corners (hence the BB/9 being down) and more balls are getting hit.
If he turns it around, we can point to some of those stats as indications that he was due for a break. But if you watch him, it certainly doesn't feel like he's unlucky. It just looks like he's bad.
On page 2, Carl Crawford is looking great.
"Carl's playing with a real fire,'' said Bobby Valentine, "and that's a good thing to see.'' Indeed, with his three steals, Crawford accomplished something he didn't do all of last season. In 2012, he twice had two steals in a game, but never three.
Add in two infield hits -- one on a chopper to second, the other on a roller to third -- and Crawford is playing with an aggressiveness that he seldom displayed last year.
"It feels good,'' said Crawford. "It's best to get off to a hot start around here and so far I've been successful at it. It's definitely easier to relax once you do the things you're trying to.''
Kudos to Bobby V for hitting him 2nd and letting him loose. I think moving him down in the lineup after the slow start was Tito's biggest misstep last year. Carl seems very sensitive to where he hits. Let's make him comfortable.
When Pedroia comes back, he can hit 3rd. He loves being a little guy in the heart of the order anyway.
Herald | Jon Lester lit up again | Carl Crawford's fast start continues | Not all good for David Ortiz | CSNNE | Youkilis' homer the big blow as White Sox beat Red Sox, 7-5 | Lester still searching for answers | ESPNBoston | Jon Lester still out of sync | David Ortiz out at least 1 week | Morales shifted back to bullpen | Kevin Youkilis hits 3-run HR as White Sox drop Red Sox | Globe | Youkilis blasts away at Fenway | They're off and running | Ortiz to seek second opinion | Ups, downs of fandom