Jon Lester: ‘It’s getting to that time I’ve got to get on that run’
|07.03.12 at 12:53 pm ET|
The results haven’t been ace-like. Good, but not ace-like. And that’s where some followers of Jon Lester have offered frustrations.
In his last five starts, Lester has totaled a 2-1 mark with a 4.01 ERA in 33 2/3 innings, striking out 31 and walking five.
Again, pretty good, but …
Of the list of things the Red Sox need in order to get away from this one step forward, one back life they’ve been leading is a dominant Lester. The kind of pitcher he was for a 14-start stretch in the middle of last season, totaled a 2.31 ERA (sixth-best among starters from June 1-Sept. 1).
But Lester, who starts Tuesday night in Oakland, is taking the mound these days with more optimism than even during many of the good times of ’11.
“I have better stuff this year than I did last year,” the lefty recently told WEEI.com. “I struggled with some things last year, physically. Obviously my velocity was down a little bit last year. It was just one of those years I had to grind through physically. Obviously with the lat, coming back from that. Any time you have some sort of arm injury it can take a while to come back from it. I don’t think I felt 100 percent until the end of August, as far as being able to repeat.
“That’s what I’m hearing from my catchers. I’ve got to believe them. “
But while Lester is carrying a good deal of hope, he also understands the importance of uncovering a new round of excellence heading into the season’s final three months. After his first July start of ’11, he stood at 10-4 with an ERA of 3.31, while the Red Sox stood at 18 games over .500. Prior to the start against the A’s, he is at 5-5 with a 4.31 ERA and the Sox four games over .500 and ½ game out of a Wild Card spot.
“The way I feel physically, and the way I feel on the mound, something’s got to give,” Lester said. “It’s getting to that time I’ve got to get on that run.”
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