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Jerry Remy on D&C: Don’t sleep on Jon Lester

07.11.12 at 9:53 am ET

NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy appeared on Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss Jon Lester‘s slump and other Red Sox questions heading into the season’s second half. To listen to the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Red Sox, who are 9 1/2 games out of first place in the AL East, have been plagued by injuries and starting pitching questions, like those surrounding Lester. Remy said he expected Lester to be a standout and is surprised by the 28-year-old’s struggles this season.

“In certain games we’ve watched him pitch he’s pitched better than his record,” Remy said. “His consistency hasn’t been what he would want it to be, or [what] anyone else wants it to be. There’s a lot of games where his best pitch, his cut fastball, hasn’t been there for him. He’s had to rely on other pitches to get people out. He’s had a couple of games where I thought he pitched very well and he just got hit in those games. It’s a combination of a lot of things that haven’t gone right for him.”

Added Remy: “His cut fastball is not quite what it was maybe a couple of years ago and that’s a major pitch for him. That’s his out pitch. That’s where he gets his ground ball outs, that’s where he gets his strikeouts, and it just hasn’t been as consistent this year as it’s been in the past.”

Remy was unable to explain what has kept outfielder Carl Crawford from returning to the Red Sox following his injury.

“Crawofrd’s a mystery to me. I have no idea,” Remy said. “Every time they’re talking about him coming back, something else pops up. I’m not counting on him right now. [Jacoby] Ellsbury is a major factor coming back. This is a guy that was the runner-up for MVP last year and who they can certainly use. But they’ve got to pitch better. Besides those guys coming back, and [Dustin] Pedroia of course, that’s another one, they’ve got to pitch better. They know that. The starting pitching was not good in the first half. The bullpen really saved them and the fact is they’ve got to do a better job [with starting pitching]. They’re capable of doing it, and if they do it they can make a run for it. But it’s not going to be easy, that’s for sure.”The return of those players is just one factor Remy mentioned that will determine how the Red Sox act at the approaching trade deadline.

“A lot depends on what happens in the next couple of weeks,” Remy said. “If you look at their schedule coming up, it’s really tough with a lot of great teams they’re going to be playing. A lot depends on what happens going into that. If things don’t go well and they’re not even in a position where they’re even a wild card contender, you might expect them to be sellers. If they still have an opportunity to be a wild card, I don’t think they’re going to go out and go crazy to try to get people. I think that they’ll probably try to stick with what they’ve got to try to get to the playoffs.

“What we haven’t seen yet is people on the field and that’s what we need to see. We need to see people coming back. If those guys come back and they stay in contention then I think [the Red Sox have] made [their] trades already and that’s probably the route they’ll go for.”

Read More: carl crawford, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jerry Remy
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