Monday, July 23, 2007


Jon Lester did it. In order, he beat cancer, he made it back to the majors, and he beat Cleveland, 6-2. Lester went six strong innings and gave up two runs to notch his first win since being diagnosed with lymphoma last season. He wasn't perfect, as Grady Sizemore hit a two run homer off him, but thats all he gave up. He was more than a suitable replacement for His Craziness, Julian Tavarez, who took his old seat in the bullpen.

Lester ran into trouble a few times, but when he was commanding his pitches the Indians couldn't touch him. The most dangerous inning was the fourth. Lester loaded the bases on a double and two walks, but escaped. He got Josh Barfield to ground into a force play at home and then he struck out Sizemore on a high fastball to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.

Lester threw 55 of his 96 pitches for strikes. He struck out six to offset three walks.

The Sox bullpen again held their opponent scoreless after the starter left. My Man Manny Delcarmen threw an inning and a third to get the save. He was preceded by Mike Timlin and Javier Lopez who threw a combined inning and two thirds of scoreless ball.

The Sox offense was led by Coco Crisp who went 4 for 5 and is now hitting .284 on the year. Dustin Pedroia had three hits, and Kevin Youkilis and Manny Ramirez had two hits apiece. David Ortiz sat out again. He is expected to return Wednesday at the earliest.

A couple quick notes...

*You may remember Gary Thorne. He is a part-time broadcaster for ESPN when he isn't broadcasting Orioles games. A while back, Thorn said some relatively offensive things about Curt Schilling. Thorne claimed that the blood on the sock during the '04 playoffs actually was not blood at all.

Thorne was at it again today, though nothing close to the whole bloody sock is fake-gate. Whether claiming Manny Ramirez has cost the Red Sox a run when he hasn't, or simply identifying an 84 mph pitch by Manny Delcarmen as a fastball (very clearly a change-up), Thorne was frequently talking out of his ass. Thorne seems to enjoy being in the booth, but the trouble is he just isn't very good at it. As Jere would say, Terrible Job.

*Another terrible performance was turned in by home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor, who's strike zone was moving around like a fly trying to escape a swatter. Bucknor called out Dustin Pedroia on a pitch at the letters, Youkilis on a pitch a foot outside, and Mike Lowell on a check swing where Lowell barely took the bat off his shoulder. There were numerous examples of bad calls going against the Indians as well.

AL East: As expected, the Yankees crushed Kansas City. Toronto beat Minnesota, while Tampa and Baltimore had the night off. The Red Sox lead New York by 7.5 games, Toronto by 11.0 games, Baltimore by 15.0 games, and Tampa by 21.5 games.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): The Sox play game two of four in Cleveland. Daisuke Matsuzaka faces C.C. Sabathia. Game time is 7:05pm EST.

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