Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Newsflash: Jon Lester Is Good
2008-10-07 12:35
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

With no games to preview today, I've got a piece up on summarizing five things I took away from the ALDS. The first of them Yankee fans new already: Jon Lester, who was 2-0 with a 1.19 ERA in three starts against the Bombers this year, is the Red Sox's new ace.

2008-10-07 13:07:22
1.   Shaun P
Amazing what happens when you stick with a young pitcher through his struggles with big league hitters, isn't it? Lester's numbers at 22 were pretty bad: that 60:43 K:BB ratio sticks out worse than the near-5 ERA or the abysmal 1.65 WHIP. 2 years later, he's the Sox ace.
2008-10-07 13:09:26
2.   Cliff Corcoran
Indeed. If both teams play things correctly we could spend much of the next decade arguing about who's better: Lester and Buchholz or Chamberlain and Hughes.
2008-10-07 14:08:09
3.   SteveF
Let's hope so. Chamberlain's stuff and makeup are off the charts. I just hope his body can hold up to let him accomplish the things it's glaringly obvious he can accomplish.

The guy has hall of fame stuff.

2008-10-07 14:11:08
4.   Bagel Boy
Even more reason to sign Manny - they need the power from right-side, .395 SLG against LHP this year.
2008-10-07 15:53:50
5.   Bagel Boy
Oh, and I think Masterson is the guy instead of Buchholz. I'm not convinced the latter has the maturity to be a major league pitcher. Two former Yankees come to mind: Masterson as a young Kevin Brown (though not as good). Buchholz as Scott Erickson.
2008-10-07 16:15:47
6.   rilkefan
"led the league in stolen bases with a respectable 74 percent success rate"

Isn't that (just) below break-even?

2008-10-07 16:26:07
7.   Cliff Corcoran
6 Yes, which is what makes it respectable. On a team level the standard is a bit lower because the stats include slow guys who go 2-for-4 on busted hit-and-runs, etc. Take out Carlos Pena, Willy Aybar, and Gabe Gross (combined 5-for-10) and it's 75.8 percent.
2008-10-07 16:59:08
8.   rilkefan
Even that truncated rate seems like it's a statistical fluctuation away from being an overall negative. I would express that as, "Unlike other teams in the league they don't throw away outs by stealing". I suppose in a series the opposing catcher dominates this though.
2008-10-07 17:35:52
9.   Cliff Corcoran
My point was really to emphasize their team speed more than their stolen base rate. Stolen bases are the easiest stat to use to suggest team speed that can come into play in the field and on infield hits, etc. I just wanted to point out that they run a lot and don't pay for it, so yeah, what you said.
2008-10-07 17:36:02
10.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
all debate and no baseball makes Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO a grumpy boy...

I think the Rays HAVE to win Game 1 to avoid getting shell-shocked against the Sox. Think they can, but Letser & a bounce-back from Beckett means...Sox in 6...sigh...

2008-10-07 19:57:30
11.   RIYank
Has anyone mentioned here at BB that Mo had his surgery? I didn't see any comment to that effect under Alex's "How to stay warm..." piece.

Well, my friends, the middle class is ready to watch the maverick Rays overcome the cronyism of the BoSox, with Joe Maddon's cool hand at the tiller.

2008-10-07 20:21:41
12.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
11 Gosh darnit, you betcha I heard that about dang Mo Rivera. Here's hopin he that dag'nabbit shoulder is fine for apring 2009!
2008-10-07 20:30:08
13.   thelarmis
yeah, according to pete abe, cashman said everything went fine in the surgery. nothing unexpected was found and Mo should be throwing in 3 months, which is right around his normal schedule. so far, so good. let's hope Mo's & Po's shoulders are both strong next season!
2008-10-08 11:14:14
14.   3rd gen yankee fan
Mmm, shoulders... oh uh, what?
2008-10-08 13:45:01
15.   Biscuit Pants
11 But do they have enough grit . . .

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