That Jon Lester is a tough cookie. He dominated the Orioles for seven innings today, scattering three hits and allowing one run. His assessment:
“There are some things out there I wasn’t real pleased with. But for the most part I feel ready to go. There are a couple of little things I want to work on.”
Lester thought he fell behind too many batters.
As for other matters:
* Mike Lowell is 4 for his last 7 after getting two hits today. He was waiting for it to “click in” for him and now it has. “I’m seeing the ball well again,” he said. “It just takes time.”
Now what? The Rangers are interested but can they come up with a few million to ease the sting for the Sox?
* Alan Embree’s line this spring: 2.1 innings, 8 hits, 11 runs, 10 earned runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout. That’s a 38.57 ERA for you kids slow in math. He gave up four runs in the ninth, two on a blast by Ty Wigginton. It’s hard to see him making the team at this point.
* Scott Schoeneweis allowed a run in his inning but according to Terry Francona threw some good breaking balls. I think he’s your man, at least for now.
* Victor Martinez was 3 for 5 with two homers, six RBI and a drive to the warning track that nearly went out. The pessimistic “where will the offense come from” types are underestimating what a difference it will make to have this guy in the lineup all year.
Jason Varitek had 425 plate appearance last season. There will be some addition by subtraction going on, too.
* David Ortiz has not played one inning at first base all spring. But he does take grounders every day. Seems safe to say he’ll be watching interleague games from the bench.
* Jacoby Ellsbury has played 31 innings in left and 31 innings in center this spring. Jeremy Hermida is going to get more ABs than first thought.
* Francona said before the game that he wants to hit Drew behind Ortiz unless somebody presents him with compelling evidence against the idea. So the lineup would be:
Might you want to mix up the lefties and righties a little? Maybe. But two things:
1. Lineups are overrated. Nine good players are going to produce runs no matter where you hit them. People put way too much time into worrying about lineups.
2. Drew is never going to win a popularity contest in Boston. But the man had a .914 OPS last season. How do you hit him below Beltre or Cameron? That makes no sense.
* The Yankees lineup for Sunday is likely to be:
* For those of you who missed it before, Sunday’s game will be on NESN if you’re in the NESN coverage area or YES is you’re in their area. Otherwise it’ll be on ESPN2.