Jon Lester looked pretty good, didn't he?
We know the line: eight innings, four walks, four strikeouts and only one hit. Not too shabby for a 22-year-old southpaw. It was hands down the best performance by a Red Sox pitcher this season. And just think - he was pitching at Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma, Washington just four years ago.
Truth be told, we still need more from Lester. Sure, I'd take that outing every day of the week. A one-hit performance is a one-hit performance. But how long is he going to ride the lucky train?
Usually walks will kill you. With Lester, though, walks have amounted to nothing. Maybe it's because he `buckles down' when there are runners on. Maybe he's just that good when runners are on. But there has not been one clutch hit that has cost him dearly - but there will be; there has to be.
He threw exactly 100 pitches in his spectacular one-hit night, but only 57 of them were strikes. That's a bad, bad percentage. In 45.1 innings he has struck out 37 and walked 29. That's a big red light if I've ever seen one. If he keeps this up, he'd be a slightly better version of Daniel Cabrera. And does anyone want that?
He's good. I know that. We all know that. But at some point he's going to pay for committing all these walks. If he cuts them down, we've got an extremely special pitcher in our hands. If he doesn't, we're going to start see his numbers suffer.
This is the best time for him to starting doing so. With only Curt Schilling and Lester as our reliable starters, we're going to need the best performances from both of them.