Jon Lester relishes All-Star inning of work, opportunity to play with Derek Jeter; Koji Uehara fans only batter he faces
|07.15.14 at 9:05 pm ET|
Lester allowed two runs on three hits over his only frame.
The lefty retired the first batter he faced, Giancarlo Stanton, on a pop-up to second base. But he then surrendered a single to Aramis Ramirez before giving up back-to-back doubles to Chase Utley and Jonathan Lucroy.
Lester would come back to strand Lucroy at second, getting Carlos Gomez to pop out to the catcher before inducing an inning-ending fly ball to center off the bat of Andrew McCutchen.
“Obviously you’re coming in here, you’re facing the best players in the world and just trying to get outs. You’re so used to going through the scouting reports and advance meetings and this and that,” said Lester. “All of a sudden, you get out there and you’re throwing to a guy you just met a day ago. It’s like, ‘Hey, all right, let’s see what we can do.’ Made a couple mistakes and obviously they’re here for a reason, put some good swings on balls. Luckily got out of there still with the lead. That was the main thing. Fun. Had a good time.
“Any time you get to run out on this field with these guys, it humbles you. It makes you just enjoy this even more,” Lester added. “Getting to be a part of this, getting to be in the clubhouse with these guys, you just walk around the room, you’ve got future Hall of Famers all over the place. It’s an awesome experience that I definitely always remember. I always remember the ones I’ve been to and get to be around these guys, cherish the talks and the conversations that we’ve had in the dugout or on the field. You get to learn a lot from these guys.”
The Sox starter threw 22 pitches, 17 of which were for strikes.
Despite being named to the All-Star team two other occasions, this was the first game action for Lester.
To listen to Lester sum up his experience at the All-Star Game, listen to the Bradfo Show podcast (also featuring Stanton) by clicking here.
The other Red Sox representative, Koji Uehara, retired the only batter he faced, Devin Mesoraco, on a strikeout for the final out of the top of the sixth.
Uehara, who threw a first-pitch fastball and then three straight splits, had no issue with just facing the one batter, later saying, “That was it, I had enough fun there.” Uehara told manager John Farrell he preferred not to close things out.
“I enjoyed this, but I’m still disappointed I didn’t get a chance to play golf,” he said.
In other All-Star news, Derek Jeter was replaced in the field before a pitch was thrown in the top of the fourth inning. After taking his position at shortstop, the Yankee was replaced by Alexei Ramirez with applause from all the All-Star players. After shaking the hands of everyone in the American League dugout, Jeter emerged for a final curtain call for the Target Field fans.
Jeter finished his night with a double and single. Yet the impression he made was more memorable than just the two hits, as the Yankees captain addressed his American League teammates before the game.
“He just said thank you for the past couple of days. He was honored and humbled to be a part of this. I think we all felt the same way to be in his presence,” said Lester. “You obviously saw it today. You see it around the league. You see it in the clubhouse today with the guys. You see him walking around and talking to guys, guys just really appreciating what he’s done, how he’s gone about it. It’s awesome, it’s an honor to be a part of it and get to see it firsthand.”
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