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Jon Lester will stay in Red Sox rotation to face Yankees

Jul 24, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

Boston Red Sox Jon Lester reacts at end of second inning after he gave up six runs to New York Yankees in their MLB game in New York

Following his latest ugly outing Sunday there was speculation that Boston would remove Jon Lester from the rotation, but instead the Red Sox will keep him on schedule to start again Saturday and simply adjust his between-starts routine a bit.

In what manager Bobby Valentine called “a nice proactive plan” Lester will prepare for Saturday’s start by throwing a simulated game Wednesday instead of his usual bullpen session.

Not only was Sunday’s start the worst of Lester’s career with 11 runs in four innings, he’s allowed 22 runs in 12.1 innings over his last three starts and now has a 5.46 ERA in 120 innings overall.

Valentine told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that Lester insists he “feels great and is throwing the ball as well as he’s thrown the ball in a couple of years.” Saturday will be a helluva test for that, as Lester will face the Yankees, in New York.

  1. pisano - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    I’m sure the Yankees are looking forward to facing Lester, as a matter of fact, not only Lester, but the entire Boston rotation. It’s really a shame whats happened to the Red Sox, their devoted fans deserve better.

    • uyf1950 - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      How are you doing my friend?

  2. surefooted1 - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Valentine is crazy. It’s been what, all of 16 or so days since Lester gave up 5R/4ER in 4.1 to the Yankees?

    This is either going to go vey well, or very bad. There will be no in between.

  3. uyf1950 - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Well if the Yankees rotation stays on schedule CC will be on the mound for the Yankees Saturday. Should be an interesting match up. Lester has faced the Yankees once so far this season just before the All Star break and he didn’t fair very well. Going only 4 1/3 innings while giving up 4 ER’s. I guess we’ll see how he does on Saturday.

  4. bravojawja - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    And this is why he sits on my fantasy team’s bench.

    • foreverchipper10 - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      After his last start I dropped him. No more of this BS for me.

  5. pellypell - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    John Farrell, Sox pitching coach from 2007 through 2010 had this to say recently:

    “Through our reports and seeing him early in the year, there’s been a little bit more of a tendency to miss over the plate and miss up in the strike zone a little bit,” Farrell said. “The devastating cutter that he’s had for so long might not be as sharp right now, so it gains a little length in the break to it. I think our hitters are able to see it a little bit earlier in the flight to home plate. We laid off some pretty tough pitches, but we didn’t miss many when they found their way into the middle of the plate.”

    Hoping this is a mechanics thing and Lester fixes whatever ails him.

    • cur68 - Jul 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM

      Yeah, that’s Farrell being Lester’s pitching coach there. Wish he hadn’t said all that. Lester’s velocity was excellent against the Beav in the blow out loss. He just wasn’t fooling anyone. His pitches had no sink and they didn’t move enough. That’s purely mechanical. Greg Zaun pointed out that Henderson Alvarez has a similar problem early in games: too much power in his throwing eliminates the sink and powers through the break. That’s Lester’s problem: throwing too hard. If he has that straightened out for The Empire then The Valentines will be fine against them. I’d like The Valentines to lose a bit more, although a Yankee series loss would be nice, too. Decisions, decisions…

      • pellypell - Jul 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        My guess is he turns this ship around and it starts this Saturday.

      • 24missed - Jul 24, 2012 at 3:37 PM

        Filthy b*tch. The Valentines. That was uncalled for, albeit a little funny. Thank you, Farrell for all the insight. He is just the man. All the advice Sweet Jon can use (I’ll bet they are texting right now) and he will be there for him when he comes back to manage the Sox. I do recall Farrell wanting to interview in Boston during the off-season, but it was blocked by the BJ’s. His family lives in Boston and his contract ends at a very interesting time.

  6. randygnyc - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    There is no way a struggling, marquee pitcher gives up 11 earned runs without the manager attempting to send a message or punish that player.

    • pellypell - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      Punish? No. I think this was a case of let him try to work it out on his own, we are already in a hole.

  7. 24missed - Jul 24, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Jon Lester is fine. He’s had a tough go of it, but he’ll work it out. Farrell, among others, pointed out some mechanical pieces they’ve noted.

    He wants to do better and he’ll just get better and better. Everyone has tough games, starts and years. No need to call for the guy’s head. Just root for him.

  8. bozosforall - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Red Sox going nowhere this year…except the golf course in October.

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