Lester looked sharp yesterday, throwing 90 pitches over seven innings in a Red Sox 6-0 victory over the Phillies. Lester allowed only two hits while walking none and striking out ten. It was the first time this spring any Sox pitcher has truly dominated, and is perhaps a sign that Lester is ready for opening day.
“Felt pretty much the same as the last time,’’ Lester said. “I got the ball down in the zone a little more. When you’re able to do that, you get better results. That was the biggest thing early, establishing getting the ball down, and I was able to do that. The more pitches a batter sees, the more comfortable they became, and the more predictable you get. The more three-pitch outs you get, the better.’’
As for today, Becket threw 84 pitches over five scoreless innings. Becket gave up just one hit while walking three batters and striking out five. He has only given up two runs this spring, and his ERA now stands at 0.95.
“When you’re throwing this many pitches, 85 to 100, your competitive stuff kind of takes,” said Beckett. “You’re trying to get guys out and not let people score. I think the mental aspect of the game is a little bit different than when you’re going three innings. Maybe then, you tend to really work on one individual pitch.”
“As far as arm strength and stuff goes, there’s still stuff you have to figure out during the season, too. I don’t think anyone hits the ground running in April. If you do, you’re not very old.”
Lester and Beckett are the most crucial elements of the team’s success for 2012. With a weak back end of the rotation, the team is relying heavily on their success. If these past two starts are any bit representative of what’s to come for these two, this is going to be a fun year. Players such as McDonald, Aviles, Ross, and Gonzalez all took to Twitter to talk about their happiness for both Josh and Jon’s success, and their eagerness for the season to start. This team might have a lot more heart and talent than people give them credit for, and I am truly excited to watch them prove themselves to others this year.
Thanks to Boston.com for the quotes.