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.
Jon Lester [stats]’s dominance of the Baltimore Orioles was bound to end at some point. That time finally came last night, as Lester was outdueled by Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez in a 4-2 Red Sox [team stats] loss at Fenway Park [map].
The defeat was the first in Lester’s 21 career starts against the Orioles. The left-hander entered last night with a 14-0 career record vs. Baltimore, the longest winning streak ever against the franchise to begin a career.
“It was bound to happen sometime,” Lester said. “They’re playing good this year. They’ve always had a good offense. They’re just putting everything else together.”
“Balls aren’t going to be hit at people more in the future, I think,” Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “If he stays healthy, he’s a very good pitcher. I die with him every time he’s out there. We don’t get the runs in double digits to give him a cushion and he has to make every pitch a crucial pitch and every once in a while it just doesn’t work for him.”
Herald - O my, Lester loses
Looks like the media doesn't have much to say about this Sox team anymore, either. Lester's loss is the big story today. But since we have to talk about something, on a hopeless, late September morning I guess this is as good as anything else.
The Sox have lost a lot of games to the Orioles over the past few seasons -- that Lester was never handed an 'L' over 21 contests was kinda nifty. But to quote Peter Griffin above, "Who the hell cares?" Certainly not I. But let's try to find something to discuss in this anyway.
I do like Valentine's quote about Lester. Especially the "I die with him every time he's out there" line. I think that sentence sums up how all Sox fans have felt watching Lester this season. It's been heartbreaking. He hasn't been himself, or very good.
And, like most things that come out of Bobby's mouth, I'm not entirely sure how to take the line about Lester not getting double digit run support. First off, it's true. The run support hasn't been there, and Lester has surely suffered because of it. It's clearly affected the way he's approached the game. From my amateur perspective, it just looks like he's putting immense pressure on himself to execute every. single. pitch. which leaves him uncomfortable on the mound.
But I think Lester, as much as anybody on this roster, could use a good long winter away from the game. Turning the page on this season is going to be easier said than done, but the Sox need to find a way to do it.
Rest of the links:
Herald -Middlebrooks trying to stay busy | Dan Duquette’s Birds rise as Sox hit bottom | Globe -PawSox’ Arnie Beyeler has faith in Jose Iglesias | CSNNE - Valentine: No intention of sitting starters | Lester suffers first career loss to Orioles | ESPN - Trying to avoid some dubious history | WEEI - Saturday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Aaron Cook vs. Randy Wolf