Red Sox manager Terry Francona announced following his team's 7-3 loss to the White Sox Monday night at Fenway Park that Jon Lester wouldn't pitch again until June 7, allowing the lefty seven days of rest.
The announcement comes after Lester turned in one of his worst outings of the season, a 5 2/3-inning appearance in which he was charged with seven runs and allowed a total of 14 baserunners.
"I don't need to reinvent the wheel. I don't need to go out there and figure things out," said Lester, who saw his ERA go to 3.94 after the loss. "I just think it was one of those deals I got a little ahead of myself working east to west instead of north to south. I threw the ball up in the zone and that's what's going to happen when you do that. I don't need to throw an extended bullpen, or anything like that. It will be nice to get an extra day, we've been going pretty hard at it these past couple of go-rounds. It will be nice. Hopefully it's not going to go the other way and be too much. Give the body a break, come back on Tuesday and just try and go after it again and see what happens."
Frnacona talked about perhaps an over-reliance on the cutter by Lester, who was driven from the game by an two-run bloop single from Alexei Ramirez on the starter's 127th pitch. It was the second-most pitches the lefty has thrown in his career. According to MLB.com, the starter threw the pitch 43 times.
"He's gotten in a little bit of a mode where his cutter is so good, but he's throwing a lot of them. We've got to get him back to where he's establishing his fastball, changeup, breaking ball, and using the cutter to put people away," Francona said. "It's getting to the point where it's more and more … it is a great pitch, but he's throwing a lot of them. We'll go back to the drawing board a little bit and have a good side with [pitching coach] Curt [Young]."
Lester pointed out that one of the reasons he used his cutter so much was due to a lack of feeling for any of his other pitches.
"It was the only pitch I could throw for strikes," he said. "I had to throw it. I had no command of my fastball. I threw a couple of decent changeups and I think I threw one curveball for a strike just because I got a checked swing at it. It was really the only pitch I could command so we had to use it."