|Second inning: Jon Lester owns the joint||10.06.08 at 6:09 pm ET|
Even early in the season, some of the Red Sox started to talk about the way in which Jon Lester was starting to give them the same level of confidence that they had in Josh Beckett. (They meant that in the complimentary, Beckett c. 2007 fashion, rather than the less impressive impostor who couldn’t find the strike zone in Game 3 last night.) Lester was someone whom they thought they could trust to erase the sting of a loss, to cut short incipient losing streaks.
Right now, he is pitching like a guy whose concentration on execution is total. He seemed vulnerable to one of the two-out rallies that have been a signature of this series after issuing a two-out free pass to Mike Napoli (not a bad idea, after the Angels catcher clubbed 800 feet of homers yesterday–not quite an eight-foot sub, but not far off) and then saw a Juan Rivera single bound just past a diving Jed Lowrie at short.
But Lester remained totally unperturbed. With runners on first and second, he blew away befuddled Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick: called strike, called strike, swinging strikeout on a curve.
Lackey–who has made the curious decision to wear short sleeves today–struck out Kevin Youkilis before allowing a single to left to Game 2 hero J.D. Drew and a walk to Game 1 hero Jason Bay. (Lackey, it should be recalled, was superb in the series opener, and the only chink in his armor was the cookie he fed to Bay for a two-run homer.)
But Mark Kotsay grounded into a double play, and the Sox have now gone nine straight innings without a run.
October baseball: it’s low scoring.
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