Lester Bends But Doesn’t Break While Beltre Just Breaks

It’s too bad the Sox are cooked because last night’s come-from-behind win was a solid B+. Yeah, it’s Baltimore but the September Os are no longer the May Os and anytime you can comeback from 4-1 and 5-2 deficits on the road, something good has happened.

After a couple of innings last night, it looked like Jon Lester would be today’s lead, but unlike last Friday, the story wasn’t pretty. And that is because the O’s were jumping on Lester early in the count and doing plenty of damage. Even old friend Julio Lugo joined the party with two hits in the first two innings and when a guy like Lugo is feasting off Lester, something is terribly amiss.

Thankfully, Lester righted the ship and once he got comfortable, it was lights out for Baltimore in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Now the Birds did manage to load ‘em up in the sixth, but Lester finished them off with his 10th strikeout of the night, this one coming on a nasty curveball to Lugo. It was hardly vintage Lester but it gave him double digit Ks for the second straight outing and that raised his K/9 to 9.5, which is good for fourth in the AL.   

Now Lester did leave the game on the hook for a loss but he picked up the hack win when his offense came storming back off that shaky Baltimore pen.  Darnell got it started, Scoots tucked one around the LF pole, Drew got the machine cranked up again, Martinez doubled him home, Ortiz was walked and Beltre made Buck Showalter pay for that dearly with a three-run dinger. Full disclosure … Beltre’s home run probably would have been an out in 25 of 30 MLB parks but in West Baltimore, it was a death blow for the hometown Birds.  [Insert “Wire” reference here]

So the Sox snapped out of their funk. And for a day at least, they have something to feel good about.  It may be short-lived as Daisuke goes tonight on long rest and we all know how he does when he’s returning off a layover. The Birds counter with Brad Bergesen who has given the Sox some trouble in the past and has pitched very well since dialing up a stinker on July 26th in Toronto. Enjoy, because given the path of Earl, you might not see the Sox again until Saturday afternoon when they play the first of a day-night doubleheader. And that probably means …. “Ladies and Gentlemen ….. pitching this afternoon for the Boston Red Sox  …. Tim Wakefield.”

POINTS OF INTEREST

* Felix Doubront and Danial Bard have both murdered left-handers this season so how come Felix Pie, of all people, has found a way to cause trouble? The Pie-Guy smacked a home run off Doubront on Tuesday and then laced a double off Bard last night. Markakis would be one thing. But Pie?  Next thing you know, Lugo will be smacking around Lester.

* Is Julio Lugo going to be playing anywhere in the major leagues next year? That .035 isolated power number screams ….. no! God, what a fucking horrendous signing that was.

* What an at bat for Kalish in the second … an eleven-pitch war that ended in an RBI double. My recommendation …. Don’t sell your Kalish IPO stock just because he is struggling out of the gate. You’ll be sorry.  

* Drew may not be able to hit lefties but he sure can hit Orioles. Last night’s tater gave him six against Baltimore this season and it lifted his OPS versus the Birds to 1.248. And just in case you were wondering what happens when these worlds collide and Drew comes face to face with a Baltimore lefty, it turns out the lefty wins as Drew is 0-5 with four Ks against Brian Matusz.

FARM REPORT: It wasn’t a great night on the farm as Pawtucket saw its eight game winning streak halted and each affiliate lost other than Greenville. But Lars Anderson smacked his second bomb in as many nights and Ryan Lavarnway knocked in his 96 run of the season. With Lavarnway knocking on 100, I am wondering if he will become the first Ivy-leaguer since Lou Gehrig to drive in 100 runs while playing professional baseball. And yes, the Eastern League is professional baseball. The Yale Bulldog is having some year and hopefully it will continue this Fall out in Arizona. He still doesn’t seem to be up on anyone’s radar screen but two weeks in the desert could change that in a hurry.

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