Dave D'Onofrio's Sox Beat: Team's fate could rest on Lester
"I'll take my beatings if they find holes in the infield. I'll tip my hat all day to that. But when you're giving up doubles in the gap and balls off the wall and misfired fastballs, it's just unacceptable," Lester said after surrendering a homer, five doubles and six runs over 4 1/3 innings in his shortest start of the season. "Like I said, I've got to find a way to make that adjustment and I didn't do that."
"You can make adjustments, but if you can't keep the ball down it doesn't matter," he said. "Fastball was up, cutter was up, changeup was up - the adjustments don't matter if you can't keep the ball down. There was obviously a lot of fly balls hit tonight that the past three or four starts I've been able to keep on the ground.
Lester voiced his frustration, and took the blame, but insisted he knew what had to change. "It's pretty simple: keep the ball down, and if I do that, it's a different story tonight," he said. Although that's where the questions about the quality of his stuff start to arise.
LOOKING at the names, and the general inexperience, the supposition is that the Red Sox need to somehow fortify their bullpen - be it internally or by the waiver process. A middle-of-the-road ERA wouldn't dispute that, either.
STAT OF THE WEEK: According to coolstandings.com, the Sox entered Saturday with a 92 percent chance of reaching the playoffs. Only Detroit (92.7) had a higher probability in the AL, followed by Tampa Bay (85.7) and Oakland (78.3). The site also gave the Rangers a better than 50-50 chance of making the postseason despite beginning the day with a half-game lead over Cleveland (44.4) for the second wild-card berth.
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