Re: Lester, the new Beckett?
posted at 2/11/2013 1:09 PM EST
Looks like we have another idiot -
cue the bootlickers in 3, 2, 1....
I think he would admit he aint the sharpest tool in the box, but I doubt Lester would. Lester should have followed some basic PR advice and not gone down this road. That being said it is good that he believes he still has it (like Bard). Athletes need to be able to shake off bad times and doubts to bounce back, unfortunately many of them aren't wise enough to keep it to themselves.
Lester is the one who is most dissapointed in his pitching post Aug 2011, he knows that it has already cost him come extension or FA time.
There are some reasons (steady velocity) to think he has had some bad luck of late. This might be a bit too nuanced for the OP author to take in:
Lester's xFIP was 3.82 in 2012, exactly a full run lower than his ERA. I looked at pitchers who underperformed their xFIP by at least a full run going back to 2009. Twelve such pitchers were found; only three were worse the next year, while five improved by more than a full run.
(( "The lefty's strikeout rate has been in a three-year decline, from 27 percent in 2009 to 19 percent last year. More balls in play means more chances for hits and defensive miscues. To illustrate the difference, let's consider that last season, Lester faced 876 batters. The eight percent difference means 70 more balls put in play, and assuming his career average .301 BABIP, leads to 21 more hits. While ERA predictors take a pitcher's strikeout rate into account, Lester's decrease itself could signify a deeper issue. " http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/tag/_/name/jon-lester ))
Road games only 2008 to 2012:
K/9 8.74 / 8.82
BB/9 3.08 / 2.75
HR/9 .8 / .8
BA .232 / .234
WHIP 1.21 / 1.20
ERA 3.49 / 3.77