Monday, July 23, 2007

Lester's emotional return a success

Red Sox - 6
Indians - 2

Lester (1-0)
L: Westbrook (1-6)

S: Delcarmen (1)

Prior to gametime the Red Sox starting pitcher gave all of his teammates high fives and patiently waited to get into the game and pitch. Sounds like any other day, right? This wasn't just any other day though, it was the return of fan-favorite pitcher Jon Lester. Lester is coming back to pitch in the big leagues for the first time since August 2006 after being diagnosed with cancer. The Cleveland fans didn't show him as much respect as I had hoped but he wasn't even thinking about that. He was focused on getting the victory, helping the team maintain it's lead in the AL East and become the first 60-win team in baseball. He did just that, strikeout out 6 in 6 innings and only allowing 2 runs. The best strikeout was in the 4th inning with the bases loaded and 2 outs. Grady Sizemore was batting and Sizemore had hit a 2-run homer in the 3rd. Lester punched him out with a fastball to end the inning and get out of a jam. His mother was a nervous wreck but was absolutely thrilled when the NESN cameras showed her reaction. It was a solid performance and definitely what I expected out of the 23-year old. Leading the offense was Manny Ramirez with 2 RBI's and Coco Crisp going 4 for 5. Mike Timlin, Javier Lopez and Manny Delcarmen all pitched well out of the pen, allowing just 1 hit and striking out a pair. Lester picked up the victory, his first on the year as the Sox took the first of a 3-game set with Cleveland to take a 1-0 advantage.

Box Score

The lead in the AL East once again remained at 7.5 games as the Yankees defeated the Royals 9-2. As long as we keep picking up wins the Yankees can't catch us. This definitely is a series neither Cleveland nor Boston can afford to lose with both the AL East & AL Central division races heating up. The Red Sox record stands at 60-39.

Next game: Tommorow @ 7:05 PM EST vs. Cleveland

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