Despite some struggles during the regular season, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell decided to start veteran left-handed pitcher Jon Lester in Game 1 of the Red Sox’ American League Division Series matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays.
It paid off.
Lester allowed two earned runs off of three hits and three walks and struck out seven in 7.2 innings to earn the win in the Red Sox 12-2 Game 1 victory.
Although Farrell, who took over for former manager Bobby Valentine, who was fired after one season, this year, wouldn’t officially name Lester the starter, he said he’d “probably lead off” with him during an appearance on WEEI, a Boston sports talk radio station, on Wednesday.
On the season, the seven-year veteran went 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA with 177 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.29.
The Red Sox got a good performance out of all four starting pitchers – Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy, so Farrell believes he can trust any of his starters.
“Those are all the normal things we’ll take into this,” Farrell said. “I think every guy threw the ball as expected in the games in which they started [in the ALDS]. It’s not like someone came out of an outing that we’ve got to take a look at the performance.”
The Red Sox will host the winner of Thursday night’s game between the Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics on Saturday.