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Jon Lester: ‘[Expletive] first half’ represents ‘uncharted waters for me’ 07.09.12 at 1:53 am ET
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2012 has been a season to forget for Jon Lester. (AP)

To put it bluntly, 2012 has been a season to forget so far for Jon Lester. The 28-year-old does not pretend otherwise.

“It’s a [expletive] first half for me,” he rued after entering the All-Star break with one of his worst outings of the season.

The Red Sox left-hander’s woes have been just one ingredient in the recipe of the team’s beleaguered pitching staff, but they might be the most significant. The two-time All-Star and former Cy Young candidate is on track to have the worst statistical season of his career during a time in which his team can’t afford such struggles.

It’s no secret that the Red Sox have been marred by inconsistency this season — mostly due to the array of players that has and still is occupying the disabled list — and the pitching rotation has taken a large brunt of the damage.

With Josh Beckett battling injuries and controversy this season, Clay Buchholz suffering a recent gastrointestinal malady that landed him on the DL and a combination of demotions, minor league promotions and bullpen shuffling, the Sox have had little room for error, especially from a pitcher of Lester’s experience and ability. Lester, along with fellow starter Felix Doubront, has been the only consistently healthy arm this season.

But while Doubront has put together a surprisingly impressive season, it’s been Lester who has put together a campaign that has been equally surprising for its inconsistency. Sunday night’s 7-3 loss to the Yankees represented another page in this half-season chapter of struggles: nine hits surrendered, five runs (four earned) allowed, two walks, one hit batter and 101 pitches in only 4 1/3 innings.

“Jon had another uphill battle,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “I thought he was throwing the ball well, but before you know it, you look up and there’s a lot of hits on the board and runs and base runners and pitches. One hundred pitches and we’re not through the fifth inning yet, it’s not what he wanted I’m sure.” Read the rest of this entry »

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