EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

June 27, 2013

Time for Lester to do what Lackey is doing

BOSTON — With Red Sox ace Clay Buchholz on the sidelines since June 8, the club needed Jon Lester to step up.

Instead, he’s been a disaster.

He has allowed 17 earned runs over three starts lasting just 15.1 innings. That’s a woeful 9.98 ERA when Boston needed him most. During that span, Lester’s ERA has increased nearly an entire run to 4.57.

Only one word describes that mess — unacceptable.

“We’ve got to get Jon Lester back on track,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “There’s no denying that. ... And there are signs within each outing that (his return to form) is imminent.”

Farrell my be optimistic, I am, however, calling out Lester. He hasn’t stepped up to the challenge of leading the rotation with Buchholz sidelined. Instead of being the ace, he has withered back into his unreliable 2012 form.

Without Buchholz, Lester should be the one giving the Red Sox a chance to win every time he starts — like John Lackey has been doing. Lackey was the winner here yesterday. He has started four games since Buchholz last pitched. In three of those four, Lackey went 7.0 innings and allowed just two runs in each.

Lester needs to take a few lessons from Lackey. The struggling lefty takes the mound today here at Fenway Park against the surging Toronto Blue Jays — winners of 12 of their past 14 games — and he finally needs to pitch the way he is capable of. No more giving up two-out runs in bunches.

No more fuming over calls and letting his emotions get the better of him. No more nibbling around the strike zone. No more four-run innings.

Can vintage Lester finally return when this team needs him the most? You know, the Lester who dominated from 2008 through September 2011 but has been absent ever since except for fleeting periods of dominance.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season Jack White's Cub Face How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China
Boston Sports
3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Who will Brady turn to if Gronk can’t stay healthy? Gronkowski cleared to participate in Patriots training camp Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season