Jon Lester struggles against White Sox, Red Sox lose 7-5
Jon Lester is one frustrated man, and it’s for good reason. The lefthander looked like he had the potential to be the ace for the Red Sox with his performance over the last few years. He is a two-time All-Star and finished fourth in the Cy Young voting two years ago, proving that he is not only one of the best in Boston, but also one of the best pitchers in baseball as well.
But this season has been a different story for Lester, and another poor performance from the 28-year-old led to a 7-5 loss for the Red Sox Tuesday night at the hands of the Chicago White Sox.
Lester put the team in a hole early, allowing two runs in the first inning and six runs over four innings before he was lifted in favor of Junichi Tazawa, who was recently promoted to the Red Sox from Triple-A Pawtucket. Tazawa also lasted four innings, but he allowed just four hits and one run, a significantly better performance than Lester’s.
To make matters worse for Lester, old friend Kevin Youkilis had another good night at the plate for the White Sox. The former Red Sox knocked out a three-run home run in the fourth inning to put Chicago ahead, 6-2.
After the loss, Lester was understandable frustrated with himself. He made no excuses — but also provided no answers — for his struggles.
“It’s frustrating showing up every day busting my [rear] and going out there busting my [rear] when I pitch and just not pitching well,” Lester told the media after the game. “I’m letting my team down.”
– We’ve already discussed Lester’s struggles, but putting the numbers in context makes his year look even worse. Lester already has seven losses this season. His previous career-high for losses in a season is nine. Lester’s 4.80 ERA is another career-high. Since the beginning of June, the Red Sox are just 2-6 in games Lester has pitched for them.
– Kevin Youkilis is looking fantastic against his former team. He is 4-for-8 with two doubles, a home run and three runs scored in two games against the Red Sox.
– Both Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford have played well in their returns from the DL. In the 7-5 loss to the White Sox, Crawford went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored and also stole three bases. Ellsbury was 2-for-5 with a run scored and a stolen base.
– David Ortiz, who injured his Achilles tendon on Monday, underwent an MRI which showed he did not suffer a rupture or tear to the tendon, meaning he would not need a trip to the DL. He is getting a second opinion Wednesday.
The Red Sox (46-45) will look to stay over the .500 mark when they send Felix Doubront to the mound on Wednesday night at Fenway Park. Doubront has been the good surprise of the season this year as far as Sox starters go, as he leads the team with a 9-4 record. The White Sox will counter with 23-year-old Pedro Hernandez who will be making his major league debut.