Jon Lester has his stuff, and he has no ability to utilize it. And that is the story of how the Red Sox lost 6-3 on Sunday afternoon.
There were mitigating factors at play in Lester's start. He had some bad luck, or alternatively an awful defender behind him in Jonny Gomes. Just about everything hit to left field was a double, which certainly didn't help. Neither did the a weird fair/foul call or two.
He did get swings and misses. And he...sort of threw strikes. Some very helpful Orioles batters went out of the zone a lot, but on some level that's to do with the fact that his pure stuff was there tonight. The problem was command and consistency. It's what resulted in the biggest hit of the day for the Orioles: a two-run shot from Chris Davis that put the Orioles ahead 3-0 in the third. Salty set up outside, the pitch stayed in.
It's a game which shouldn't result in such negative feelings. Will Middlebrooks had a big homer, and Jon Lester had eight strikeouts and, for all that he was not at all his old self, was still better than he was in his last outing. It's the sort of loss that should be easily shrugged off.
Unfortunately, there is so little else going for it and so much else going against it. The Red Sox were largely shut down by Miguel Gonzalez. Some of the batters we entered this month feeling pretty good about seem to now be struggling. These are the Orioles we just can't seem to figure out (even yesterday it was awfully close to a loss). And, oh yeah, Mike Carp had a hamstring problem to boot. Hopefully just a cramp, but we'll have to see.
That's the short version of the story, anyways. And the long version really isn't one worth telling. Hopefully a day off and a return to Fenway will help the Sox move past a bad weekend in Baltimore and a plethora of injuries and slumps.
Read more Red Sox:
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- MLB Draft 2013: Where does Trey Ball rank in the Red Sox system?
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