When the Florida Gators lost a heart-breaker to Mississippi during the 2008-09 regular season, quarterback Tim Tebow responded with what became known as the “Gator Guarantee”.
Jon Lester has issued his own version of that promise after his most recent loss to the Seattle Mariners.
“There will not be a pitcher for the remainder of the season that will work as hard as I will to get to where I was last year,” Lester said. “It’s the little things that are screwing up my outings, and it will turn around.”
Well Lester and the BoSox are up on the Blue Jays 5-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, and Lester looks rock solid.
The Red Sox need this kind of pitching. Brad Penny pitched a gem May 20, and very well could be trade bait especially now that Jake Peavy has decided against going to Chicago and to stay in San Diego. There is a market for cheap, consistent pitching, and on the radar gun, Penny has been very consistent.
Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden are tearing it up in Pawtucket with era’s of 1.60 and 0.86, respectively. This coming in the starting rotation.
I could see Buchholz being dangled as trade bait as well, but he or Bowden will get called up to help the rotation before the season is out. There is no way both of these pitchers sit in the minor leagues for the duration of the season while racking up phenomenal era’s.
There are some desperate teams out there for pitching. Brad Penny would not come with a high asking price and he is one of the cheapest established starters out there.
But Lester looks to have returned to his old form. Lester never really pitched poorly this season, but the slightest mistakes were getting punished.
It is amazing that the Sox without solid starting pitching and without David Ortiz’s rock-star bat have been able to play as well as they have. Now that Papi has his dinger and Daisuke Matsuzaka is returning, the Red Sox could hit the warpath very soon. They are a better team than both New York and Tampa Bay, and once the Sox hit their stride, it could spell trouble for the rest of the AL East.