posted at 7/9/2013 4:45 PM EDT
In response to ADG's comment:
In response to southpaw777's comment:
In response to BurritoT-'s comment:
Honestly, as I mentioned in March, you would think by now if Lester hadn't turned it around that we could safely bet this is who he is. I myself had named July 15th as the day I could safely pass judgment, and I believe today he is exactly the same pitcher we have seen since August 2011. He isn't doing well.
Would you not agree that if he realed off 3 straight solid starts that it was more likely an oddity and that he will have far more streaks of going 5 and surrendering 5?
I understand your points, and they are valid. Personally, Im just not ready to give up on him yet. He just threw 2 solid games and then last night happened. Maybe he has lost it. I just dont think so. Not yet. I said I would wait til the year is over and evaluate his full year. He has an option to consider next year at a good price. Im just going to let this year play out...
Keep in mind a few things when you watch Lester:
He has lost 4-5 MPH off his fastball.
A cutter is his supposed out pitch.
When a pitcher nibbles like Jon Lester does, he doesn't have the pelota's to go after hitters. 94 pitches after 4 IP. Really?
After bad outings like last night, he comments that he thought he had good stuff. If he thought he had good stuff, there is something terribly wrong with his perspective.
It was a game where they needed a big game. He game them nothing.
Lost 4-5 mph off his fastball? Are you saying he used to throw 99-100mph? I ask because his fastball last night was 92-95 mph, and that is fast enough for anyone to be effective. His fastball is fast enough. I think he uses the fastball and the cutter too much. Plus, of course, he can't consistently hit the corners with them.
I think his stuff last night was good enough, but that sure didn't impress the Seattle hitters, who aren't that good in the first place, so something is definitely wrong. I think he is throwing the wrong combinations of pitches and is either predictable--for example, you can safely sit on his cutter and fastball because that's what he prefers to throw--or is tipping his pitches. Plus he does not consistently hit the corners.
I also disagree that last night was crucial because Hernandez is more than Seattle's ace, he is one of the best starters in MLB. Same deal the other night against Weaver, who was throwing nasty stuff, and Lackey wasted an excellent start in LA. A win last night was not likely, especially with Ellsbury and Victorino out of the lineup. I am not defending Lester because I agree he was terrible--5 runs in 5 innings and way too many pitches.