Archive for the ‘Jon Lester’ Category

Everything in Its Right Place

Thefoulline.com quick hits:

  • For the record, I wrote a few months ago that the Red Sox should make every attempt to trade for Johan Santana. This included dealing Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, pretty much anyone. Obviously the Sox front office is smarter than I am.
  • In case you missed it, Jon Lester threw a no-hitter against the K.C. Royals the other night. I’ve always figured that Lester would be a solid contributor for the Sox. He’s a guy that I thought could go out and win 12-15 games a year and be a solid #3 guy in the rotation. After Monday’s performance, I think I’ve underestimated his ability.
  • Watching the Sox as a kid, they were always a slow, prodding team that relied on the long ball. They rarely manufactured runs, and stolen bases were nonexistent. The 2008 team with Ellsbury, Coco, Pedroia, Youk and Lugo stealing bases and playing small ball is a lot more fun to watch.
  • Speaking of Lugo, his tenure in Boston may be coming to an end. What kind of message is Terry Francona sending when Lugo gets a defensive replacement four games in a row? Paging Jed Lowrie…
  • Jacoby Ellsbury stole 25 bases in a row to start his career, two short of the record set by Tim Raines. Ellsbury was thrown out on a pitch-out and a perfect strike from the catcher to second base, and he still was barely out. This kid is scary fast.
  • Manny Ramirez stated that he has stopped hitting home-runs on purpose. He said that fans aren’t excited enough about it, and he is going to wait to hit them on the upcoming west coast trip. The reason fans aren’t excited, Man-Ram, is that you’re hitting .178 with 11 strikeouts over the last 12 games. And you’re an idiot.
  • The Sox have had solid contributions this year from their young players: Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Manny Delcarmen, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie, Justin Masterson, and Brandon Moss.
  • The Yankees “top” young players have done the following: Phillip Hughes 0-4, 9.00 ERA; Ian Kennedy 0-3, 8.48 ERA; Jeff Karstens 1-4, 11.05 ERA; Melky Cabrera, .252 batting average; Joba Chamberlain, 10 holds, 2.66 ERA, 700 cheeseburgers eaten. Advantage: Boston.
  • Bartolo Colon is wicked fat, but he pitched pretty well last night. He may make his Fantasy debut for the Yankeehaters next week.
  • Joba Chamberlain is joining the New York Yankees starting rotation. This is going to be just the boost the Yanks need to leapfrog the Blue Jays and seize fourth place in the division.
  • Ex-Sox and current freak show Eric Gagne is being sidelined with a shoulder “injury.” Have you seen this guy lately? Not only is he stinking it up in Milwaukee, but he may be the ugliest human on the planet. 7.45 ERA, multiple blown saves, $10 million… money well spent.

Don’t push the panic button!

Things don’t look good for the Red Sox right now. The last couple of weeks has taken their AL East lead to a measly 1 1/2 games. They have Youk, Coco, Okijima and Man Ram on the bench with injuries. Tim Wakefield and Dice K have looked tired their last three starts. To make matters worse, their bats have gone cold.

So why am I not worried yet? Here’s why: the Sox have a lot of character on this team. Guys like Varitek, Youk, Pedroia, Pap, Lowell, Papi, and Beckett have shown me a lot this year. These guys have carried the load day in and day out. These guys will pick up the slack and turn this thing around. This is a bump in the road. Every team goes through at least one during the season. What magnifies this current stretch, is that unfortunately it’s happening in September. If this were June no one would care. Also New York is playing good ball at the most opportunistic time. They can’t keep this going.

They may have taken 2 out of 3 last weekend in Boston, but they were not the better team. The first game they had one good inning. The second game the Yankees had their asses kicked. The third game, Schilling pitched one inning to many and gave up the Jeter home run. The Red Sox outplayed them that weekend. It’s unfortunate it didn’t translate into wins.

This team is going to be great for years to come. They’ll have a rotation of Beckett, Dice K, Lester, and Buchholz going into next year. All young guys, all character guys that will be part of this team for years. Youk, Pedroia, Ellsbury, and Papi aren’t going anywhere any time soon. This team is only going to get better. This team is set up to start collecting AL East crowns.

The final thing that the Red Sox have going for them is the best fans in the world. Fans that aren’t fair-weathered like Yankee fans. Fans that know baseball. Fans that stick with their team, through good times and bad.

Let’s remember this during the final games of the season and into the playoffs.

And the people that keep bringing up 1978…. can kiss our asses.

Reality Bites

Well, it’s back to reality for New York after losing 2 out of 3 games in Yankee Stadium to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. It’s sad times for Yankee fans when your season highlight is a 3-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox, dropping their lead to “only” 5 games.

Yankee fans can whine about having to “come down” after such an emotional series against Boston, but the facts remain. The Yankees caught the Red Sox at their most vulnerable. Boston was on the last leg of a 10-game road trip. Manny allegedly injured his oblique muscle, and J.D. Drew was sucking like his normal self. Anybody could have beat Boston those three days.

And how did both teams respond to such an “emotional” series? Philip Hughes, “Yankee Ace” of the future: 4 innings pitched with 4 earned runs in a loss against Tampa. Andy Pettite: 6 innings pitched for 11 hits and 5 earned runs (another loss). And the million-dollar man Roger Clemens put together another solid start today for a loss against Seattle (4 innings pitched, 8 hits, 5 earned runs). At the cost of only a million dollars, Clemens not only increased the Red Sox lead in the AL East but also helped Seattle inch closer to overtaking the wild card lead.

Meanwhile in Boston, the Sox have been playing kids against men and taking 2 out of 3 from Baltimore. I don’t know if anyone has heard about Clay Buchholz, the Red Sox rookie who threw a no hitter in only his second major league start, or Jon Lester, who has overcome cancer and is now 3-0 on the season, but the Sox are once again showing their superior pitching, farm system and front office. The reality is that this is just the first of many years to come of the Red Sox dominating the Yankees.

The Yankees can have their emotional series win. The Red Sox are going to have the title.

In Theo We Trust

When the 2007 MLB trade deadline came and went without the Red Sox upgrading their offense, I was more than a little disappointed. I couldn’t see why G.M. Theo Epstein wouldn’t part with a couple of promising minor leaguers to land guys like Jermaine Dye or Mark Teixiera. I mean, these guys are proven all-stars who would make any lineup better. I thought the Red Sox wanted to win this year, not hope that these “kids” will make it to the show and provide Boston with a solid lineup for years to come. I was more interested in a 2-year rent-a-player who could help the team now. It felt like playing the stock market, hoping the future would be prosperous.

I was wrong.

Throughout this season, players like Pedroia, Papelbon, Delcarmen, Lester, Ellsbury and now Buchholz haven’t just contributed to the Sox lineup, they’ve solidified it.

Let’s take a look at the potential Red Sox lineup 2 years from now and how old each player will be:

Pitchers:
Beckett 29
Dice K 29
Lester 25
Buchholz 25
Delcarmen 27
Paplebon 29

Fielders:
1B: Youkilis 30
2B: Pedroia 26
OF: Crisp 30
OF: Ellsbury 26
OF: Moss 26

This core of players has the potential to be all-stars for the next several years. Maybe there is something to be said for having players mature and progress through your farm system, instead of selling off your talent for the high-priced flavor of the month. Just ask the Yankees how that has worked out for them.

The future is now in Boston… and the future looks bright.