|Bottom 7: Another defining Jon Lester moment||10.01.08 at 9:31 pm ET|
Jon Lester would appear to be finished for the night, having totaled his third-highest pitch count of the season (117). His final at-bat said a lot, one in which it took seven pitches to get Garrett Anderson to finally line softly to second base for the the final out.
Five of the seven pitches were fastballs, with one getting up to 96 mph. But it was back to back curves which painted the picture. The first one should have struck out Anderson but was thwarted by an ill-advised ball call from home plate umpire Tim Welke. The second Anderson barely got a piece of. Both set up for the final two heaters, with the punctuation pitch breaking yet another Angel bat.
Lester for the night: Seven innings, six hits, one run, seven strikeouts and one, first-inning walk.
Hideki Okajima and Justin Masterson began the inning warming up in the Red Sox bullpen. Okajima, in case you forgot, performed admirably against the Angels in last year’s ALDS, holding LA hitless in a 1 1/3-inning stint in Game 2 before spinning a scoreless frame in the Game 3 clincher.
Masterson’s history with the Angels includes one start (his first career outing) and two relief appearances. In terms of middle of the order success vs. LA, Vladimir Guerrero is 0 for 3 against Masterson, while Guerrero is 0 for 4 vs. Okajima. Mark Teixeira is 1 for 2 against the lefty reliever.
It looks to be Masterson for the eighth.
By the way, Mr. October and Chone Figgins won’t be merged together any time soon, with the leadoff man striking out to continue his horrid post-season career run. He is 0 for 4 with two strikeouts tonight, putting him now at 11 for 70 in the playoffs (.157).
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