A.J. Pierzynski: Jon Lester’s poor outing ‘had nothing to do with me catching’
|05.23.14 at 12:23 am ET|
It was a topic that Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski anticipated, but that he had no interest in discussing.
The numbers tell a story about what happens when Jon Lester works with the two catchers on the Red Sox roster. In the seven times that Lester has worked with David Ross, he’s dominated, posting a 2.39 ERA with 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.0 walks per nine. When he’s worked with A.J. Pierzynski, he’s struggled to a 6.00 ERA with 9.0 strikeouts and 3.5 walks per nine.
Asked whether the infrequency of their pairing might have played into Lester’s poor start on Thursday, in which the lefty permitted a season-high seven earned runs, Pierzynski made clear his objection to the notion.
“I’m not answering that question anymore. It doesn’t matter,” said Pierzynski. “You guys keep bringing that up. But I mean, Jon and I had, first Opening Day we did well together. Today’s just one of those days things didn’t work out. It had nothing to do with me catching him. You can say that all you want, but it had nothing to do with it.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell had another view on the situation. He acknowledged the comfort that exists between Lester and Ross — something that contributed to Ross’ growing role throughout last postseason — but suggested that given the desperate struggle for runs by the Sox lineup, he felt compelled to put Pierzynski in the lineup given his strong track record against Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle. While Farrell recognized Lester’s greater comfort with Ross, however, he also noted that he didn’t consider the Pierzynski-Lester dynamic problematic going forward.
“There’s a comfort level between Jon and David Ross, but given where we our offensively and the history that A.J. had against Buehrle coming into this, we’re trying to get offense wherever we could,” said Farrell. “I’m not saying their rapport is not workable. But I think just the numbers bear out that Jon has had some comfort level, there’s more history with he and David. But I’m not going to focus on that being the difference in today’s game.”
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