Roche: Lester In The Zone For Sox In Game 1
BOSTON (CBS) — Just a few random thoughts after a long, but fun day watching postseason baseball for the first time since 2009 at Fenway Park …
–Jon Lester was in a zone. David Ortiz noticed it early in the day, as did Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Lester’s only real hiccup was letting a 2-2 change-up to Sean Rodriguez that was called a ball by home plate umpire Chris Guccione get to him. He proceeded to give up a 3-2 rocket of a home run on the very next pitch. He should have taken a minute to re-set himself, but it was good of him to settle down after that. In fact, other than a high-chopping home run by Ben Zobrist, Lester was rock solid.
–A big key for Lester? Strike one. He went up 0-1 on 21 of the 29 hitters he faced. If you do that, you have a chance to go deep in a ballgame.
–I feel bad for Wil Myers on the Ortiz fly ball. Give him all the credit in the world for owning up that it was “his bad” after the game. Now, I know lots of folks will say that at least it wasn’t a 3-2 game. … instead of being a 12-2 blowout. But, it did change the entire game around. You could feel it in the ballpark. The Sox got a huge break and they weren’t going to let it slip away. Up until that point, Matt Moore had held the Sox at bay. After the Myers miscue, the Sox exploded. Game over.
–For only the third time in postseason history, every hitter one through nine in the Sox lineup had at least one hit and one run scored. It happened in 1934 (St. Louis) and 1936 (New York Yankees). They were relentless and they were seeing pitches. That’s how this Red Sox lineup is when they’re clicking on all cylinders. They forced Rays starter Matt Moore into throwing over 100 pitches in 4.1 innings and even though they didn’t have a hit in the first three frames, they worked the count.
–Jonny Gomes got his first postseason hit and it was a huge one. His wall-ball two-run double knotted the game at 2-2 and got the Sox rolling after the Ortiz-Myers double. Gomes has embraced everything Boston and it’s been fun to watch.
–Finally, the amazing thing about baseball? As bad as the 12-2 loss was for the red hot Rays, they have one of the best in the game in David Price going in Game 2 on Saturday. If the Rays win, it’s a 1-1 series heading back to Tampa for Games 3 and 4.
Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Twitter @RochieWBZ.