Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lester Dominant as Sox Rout Jays

AP/Darren Calabrese

Red Sox 14 Blue Jays 0
Winning Pitcher: Jon Lester (15-6)
Losing Pitcher: Luis Perez (3-3)

Red Sox starter Jon Lester pitched extremely well as the offense held up its end of the bargain en route to a 14-0 drubbing of the Blue Jays on Tuesday night. A night after losing a 1-0 extra inning game in which the team lost its ace, Lester calmed everybody down with his 7 dominant, shutout innings. In the outing, he allowed just three hits, all singles, and walked one, while striking out 11. It was the second time he has struck out double-digit batters this season. In the game, he had all of his stuff going. His bread and butter, the cutter, baffled batters all night. He created seven swings-and-misses just from that pitch, and it held a linear weight of -2.8336. In total, he caused 13 whiffs, and averaged just a little over 14 pitches an inning, an efficient start. Lester has been gaining steam lately, allowing no more than one earned run in his past five starts. He has also lasted at least six innings in each start, as well as reaching 100 pitches in four of them. Control had been a concern of late, as he had eleven in his past three starts, but the one walk to go with eleven strikeouts curbed that feeling a bit. Lester hitting a stride down the stretch would be huge for this team, especially with all of the uncertainty surrounding this pitching staff. 
The offense wasn't too shabby itself on Tuesday night. The leaders in the lineup for the game were Marco Scutaro and David Ortiz, who hit fifth and sixth in the lineup. Combined they finished the game 8-11 with five runs scored, six RBI and five doubles. For Scutaro, it was just the second time he has started a game in the six slot in the lineup this season. He also got four hits for just the third time this year, and his three double-night marked the first multi-double game of 2011 for him. On top of all of that, the shortstop recorded his first 4-RBI game since July 28th of last year. 

Quick Hits
  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia continued his career year from a power perspective, extending his career-high home run total to 15, and his best RBI total to 50. He has been a 1.4 bWAR player to this point this year, and has been a nice surprise to the team.
  • Prospect Kyle Weiland came on in relief of Lester and pitched two scoreless innings allowing just one hit. It was his third appearance of his career (all this year), and his first from the bullpen. 

The Red Sox and Blue Jays continue their series in Toronto tonight at 7:07 PM ET. Boston will send Tim Wakefield (6-6 4.95) to the mound against Toronto's Brandon Morrow (9-10 4.78).   

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