Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A few thoughts for the evening...

- Jon Lester pitched an outstanding seven innings for the Pawsox, completing the first game of a doubleheader against the Norfolk Tides. He threw only 87 pitches and gave up only one run. Remember that Lester was having a lot of difficulty getting out of the 5th with less than 100 pitches when he was up with the Red Sox last summer? Lester is a lefty who can throw 95 and he's 23 years old. As long as he stays healthy, how many other major league teams would like a guy like that on their pitching staff. Probably 29?

- Lester's impending return to Boston is no slight on the job Julian Tavarez has done. You really couldn't ask more from your number five starter. Last night in Oakland, for example, matched up against the A's ace and AL ERA leader Danny Haren, he kept the Sox in the game. They eventually lost in 11 innings, but the score was just 3-1 A's when Tavarez left in the 6th.

Tavarez has also drawn the other team's ace a number of times. Aside from Haren last night, Tavarez has faced Johan Sanata and Roy Halladay twice.

Moving Lester into the rotation strengthens the Sox bullpen and provides the team with a reliable spot starter in case someone goes down with an injury or the team runs into a spate of doubleheaders. It's not a bad situation to be in.

- You have to feel kind of bad for the Cubs. They spent $300 million in the off-season to bring in guys like Alfoso Soriano and they are 7 games under .500 at this point. Manager Lou Pinella went off the deep end this weekend and had a dirt-kicking, umpire-bumping tirade that cost him a four game suspension. With the Cubs coming up on the 100th anniversary of their last World Series win next season (and over 60 years since they even appeared in a World Series), it still looks like it could be a while before a flag is raised over Chicago's North Side.


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