Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 1. Well that was a bit of a disappointment. Overall, I thought Lester didn’t exactly pitch badly. His curveball curved, he hit 95 mph on his fastball with ease, his delivery looked pretty good. His consistency was the problem, and it seemed like he really struggled with first pitch strikes. Not only that, but whenever he failed to throw a first-pitch strike he had real trouble finding his rhythm again. This led to a season high for walks. More troubling was the return of the one bad inning problem that plagued Lester early on. He only really had one bad inning, and it was the second. Half of his walks came during that inning alone. After that, it was just one hit from Rod Barajas that drove in the tying and winning runs. How unfortunate, but how very like Lester’s early outings. Hopefully this was just a case of being off for a few days and being a little out of sync. Lester is one of our top pitchers, and we need him to step un in these situations, not step back. Roy Halladay stepped up huge today, and Lester just wasn’t quite up to answering him.
Today, the Sox just ran into a great pitcher having a good game. Roy Halladay is an amazing pitcher. Watching him, I started warming up to the notion of him being on our team, even at the cost (which will be steep). At the very least, I don’t want to see him go to the Yankees under any circumstances. A combination of Pettite, Halladay, Sabathia and Burnett is scary. I have no doubt that such a rotation would get the Yankees the division and make them almost unbeatable come the playoffs, especially with an offense that, truth be told, is more potent than the Red Sox’s. So if the Sox can’t get him, they should at least make such an offer that the Yankees have to badly cripple themselves for a few years to sign him. Otherwise I see another huge contract and another bunch of years of Yankee dominance.
Offensively, I thought today was a mixed bag. Youkilis and Pedroia looked great, each having multi-hit games. Meanwhile, I thought Ortiz and Bay put good swings on the ball, even though all they had to show for it was a lone RBI. Kotsay had a lone hit and a nice stolen base. The rest of the offense looked pretty anemic against Halladay’s high quality pitching. Drew and Varitek especially seemed content to swing at the first pitch and make a quick out every time. Ellsbury did nothing and Nick Green did just as much nothing. Honestly, I don’t believe Green should be starting much now that Lowrie is back. I like Nick Green (he made a nice defensive play early in the game), but the Sox have to answer the question of do they have a solid shortstop for the 2009 season. They can’t do that in the two weeks before the trade deadline if they don’t give Lowrie every chance to play possible.