Jon Lester had the most losses on a last-place team in 2012. The lefthander would take the mound every five days for a rudderless team with little hope and do the best he could to leave with his dignity intact.
After knowing only success in his major league career, failure hit Lester like a line drive in the ribs. Some athletes have the ability to take each day as it comes, but the losing clearly wore on him.
“I think when you have a year like that, you have to sit and evaluate and figure out what went wrong. And obviously there was a lot of wrong,” Lester said. “Once that happens then you have to put it behind you.”
A year removed from that painful introspection, Lester will walk out to the mound at Fenway Park on Saturday night to face the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.