Friday, September 26, 2008

Lester Wins 16th in Final Outing

Jon Lester looks primed for the playoffs. In what will end up being his final outing of the regular season, Lester pitched 6 innings only allowing one run on two hits. I imagine the Sox wanted to give Lester a good quality start, but not have him go too deep or get his pitch count up too high. They must have been sweating that strategy a little bit as Lester was carrying a no hitter into the 6th inning. It would be pretty tough to pull your starter out of the game in the middle of a no hitter. But, Lester allowed a double to the first batter of the 6th, probably eliciting a sigh from Terry Francona.

Jon LesterAs it was, that allowed Lester to come out after 6 innings, get the win, and keep his pitch count to a reasonable 86. Yes, the Sox won, but they are playing the Indians you know. By the end of the game, the Sox had Gil Velazquez at shortstop, Van Every was in right field, and Chris Carter was in the DH spot. But, a win is a win, and with the Rays losing last night, the slim hopes for a Division Title stayed alive for one more day. We all know that is more than a long shot. The Rays would have to lose all 3 of their final games, all against Detroit, and the Sox would have to win all three of their remaining games against the Yankees. Could happen I suppose, and the Sox should keep doing their best to win, but without reducing their readiness for the playoffs.

I am supposed to be attending tonight's game, but the weatherman is telling me that won't happen. 100% chance of rain between 9 and 10:00 does not sound good. But, if it does get played, Daisuke Matsuzaka will have a chance to win his 19th game of the season, which would be terrific! Not sure what JD Drew's plans are, but Mike Lowell expects to play this weekend and be ready for the playoffs. I imagine Lowell will practically do and say anything to ensure he is on that playoff roster.

While the AL East and West are nearly all sewn up, the Central is still a tense battle. The Twins and White Sox are virtually tied (even in the loss column). The Sox have 3 games remaining against the Indians, and the Twins, who just beat the White Sox last night, have 4 games left against the Royals. This may come right down the the last day.

In the NL, the Cubs and Dodgers (yes, Manny Ramirez, Joe Torre, Nomar; those Dodgers) have clinched Division Titles. The Phillies have a 1 game lead over the Mets with both teams having 3 remaining games. The Wild Card Race is also truly wild with the Brewers and Mets in a dead even tie. I love playoff races! More to come!

(Photos Courtesy of ESPN)


Suldog said...

All sorts of fun scenarios are in the offing. Dodgers vs. Angels/Sox, either would be interesting. Cubs vs. anyone, as long as we don't have to listen to Buck and McCarver rhapsodize about friggin' billy goats and such. Sox/Mets would be a kick. Of course, White Sox/Cubs would be a holy war in Chicago.

Rooster said...

I love the post season!

Meanwhile, it's 4:00 and I'm waiting in Boston for them to call this game off. Have they not figured out it is raining yet?

Peter N said...

Hello on Saturday morning. The world just lost one of its best people...Paul Newman, gone at 83.

Rooster said...

I was suprised when I heard about Paul Newman - nice post on your site. Very sad passing.