Red Sox fans have longed to hear it .... Jon Lester is king of the hill again.
David Ortiz has been a monster this World Series and the favorite to win the MVP, batting .733. But my pick for Most Valuable Player of the 2013 Fall Classic thus far is ace Jon Lester.
Lester pitched brilliantly last night, leading the Red Sox, 3-1, over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the World Series at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium.
The once forgotten lefty was as good as he has ever been. His cutter was cutting, his fastball had life, he wore a bulldog face and he saved the Red Sox’ taxed bullpen with 7.2 dominant innings.
Lester allowed just one run on four hits and no walks while striking out seven Cardinals batters to earn the victory.
The Red Sox grabbed a 3-2 series lead and head to Boston for Games 6 and 7 just one victory away from a World Series title.
In his two World Series starts this fall, Lester has allowed just one run in 15.1 innings and won both games.
Who would have ever thought he was capable of this brilliance back in 2012 when Lester — with a pouty and depressed face — posted a career-worst ERA (4.82)?
Who would have thought he was capable of this dominance this June when he posted a 7.62 ERA in five starts and the opposition batted a robust .328 with a .409 on-base percentage, .603 slugging percentage and 1.013 OPS against him?
Maybe the best thing ever for Lester’s career was the trade of Josh Beckett, who seemed to have a bad influence not only on Lester but also a few other Red Sox starters as well.
Without Beckett here this year, Lester — except for his poor June — has returned to his old form and become the leader of the starting staff. He never took that role before, always appearing as more of a follower.