It’s amazing what a few hours of work can do in escorting you into the upper echelon of baseball’s greatest gamers.
In three World Series starts, Jon Lester has made it look oh so easy. After last night’s performance that brings the Red Sox one game closer to the their third World Series in nine years, Lester’s numbers were spread out on the table. They don’t seem real.
21 innings pitched: 3-0, 0.43 ERA, 1 R, 4 BB, WHIP 0.762 with 18 K.
Those are simply unheard of and frankly not fair results from the mild mannered 29 year-old left-hander. Even former teammate and noted big game performer Josh Beckett’s World Series numbers (3-0/1.16 ERA/3 R/6 BB) dwarf in comparison to Lester’s production.
Over the span of eight years, Lester has been through a roller coaster of highs and lows. At first he was the young prospect who battled and defeated cancer at the age of 22. Eventually, he became a more than serviceable starter accumulating a 100-56, 3.76 ERA since stepping on a diamond. Yet two years ago, he was one of the culprits in the “Chicken and Beer” fiasco that rocked Boston to the point it felt like the Sons of Liberty would return with the Red Sox in their peripheral.
But, when the Fall Classic falls (no pun intended) upon us Lester has that extra switch that so few athletes actually possess. With three starts in baseball’s last season series, he has climbed to the top of the pitching mountain and set the bar as high as one possibly can. If this series goes to a Game Seven and likely starter Jake Peavy struggles as he has all postseason, manager John Farrell has to bring in Lester on two days rest, right?
No one will blame the skipper if he does. He and Lester certainly have history on their side.