Boston Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester needed a big game more than ever last night. After all, the Sox bullpen was disorganized following a meltdown loss on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Angels that witnessed reliable left-handed reliever Andrew Miller suffer a Lisfranc injury, causing him to undergo season-ending surgery.
The Sox were counting on Lester to bring his best stuff, especially with his counterpart being Seattle Mariners ace and All-Star Felix Hernandez. But Lester threw another dud for the Sox last night, allowing five runs in five-plus innings, getting pulled in the sixth after allowing a pair of leadoff hits that eventually scored. Lester suffered the loss as his road ERA grew to 5.43 on the year.
Lester has now surrendered four earned runs or more in five of his past six starts, with his lone productive start coming against the offensively challenged San Diego Padres a week ago. Against the Padres, Lester struck out five, giving up just six hits as he allowed one mere run to score in seven solid innings of work.
There was hope that Lester could carry momentum into his start last night against an anemic Mariners offense. Instead, he unraveled quickly as he tossed a whopping 112 pitches before he was taken out after failing to register an out in the sixth inning.
The cutter, usually Lester’s go-to pitch, has been croaked by opposing batters in recent weeks. It was the cutter that Lester served up to Raul Ibanez in the sixth inning that was crushed well over the right-field wall, giving the Mariners a 3-2 lead they would ultimately never relinquish.
As the purported No. 1 starter, Lester was expected to step up with Clay Buchholz (the real ace of the team) shelved on the disabled list. Instead, Lester has crumbled under the spotlight and now owns the worst ERA (4.60) of the Red Sox starting rotation.
Tyler Ash is a New England Patriots Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on twitter @TyAsh34 Like His Facebook Page, or add him to your network on Google Plus … He writes NBA articles and MLB articles for Rant Sports as well.