Saturday, March 1, 2008

Lester gets the hook

It's Game 2 of the Mayor's Cup and Jon Lester's impressive start to close out the 2007 season is but a distant memory. Four walks in an inning plus. Loaded the bases with nobody out in both the first and the second. He was fortunate to get a double play in the first and only surrender one run. But in the second he walked in a run with nobody out, drawing Francona from the dugout to make the switch to Michael Tejera. 3-3 is the score.

4.5 walks per 9 innings for Lester last season. This has to change. Yes, it's obvious we don't want to take too much (if anything) away from the first start of spring training, but the continued control issues are a concern. The past couple of seasons Lester has been remarkable at working his way out of jams but a career 1.56 WHIP for your projected #3 starter in the AL East is dicey. The score is now 5-3, Tejera has walked two more Minnesotans.

Lester's final line: 1+IP, 44 pitches, 4 BB, 2 H, 4 ER (1 unearned run on a throwing error by The Mayor). On this day Lester was out-dueled by the Twins' Randy Keisler, who went 1 1/3 innings, giving up 2 hits, 3 walks, and 3 earned runs.

4:03 update: Dusty Brown knots the score at six with a solo home run in the top of eighth. Add another name to the Mirabelli grassroots coup campaign!

4:35 update: It's over. The Sox win 7-6 and have taken a commanding 2-0 lead in Mayor's Cup 2008. David Pauley pitched a scoreless 7th and 8th to pick up the win. Former Devil Ray, Jon Switzer, set down the Twins in order in the 9th. Spring training stalwart, Joe Thurston, goes 2-for-3 with 2 walks, a run scored and an RBI. New Mirabelli challenger, Dusty Brown, goes 2-for-2 with a solo homer.

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