Earlier yesterday Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell confirmed what many YouWager bettors were expecting: Jon Lester will be Game 1 starter in the AL Division Series, which begins tomorrow at Fenway Park.
Farrell made the announcement after the Red Sox’s six-inning scrimmage. John Lackey will start Game 2 and Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy, the two starters in the scrimmage, will be sent to the mound for Games 3 and 4, accordingly.
This will be Lester’s ninth postseason appearance and seventh start. It is the left-hander’s first playoff outing since getting the loss opposite Lackey in Game 1 of the 2009 ALDS at Fenway versus the Los Angeles Angels. Lester carries loads of momentum into this postseason, having gone 5-2 with a 2.19 ERA over his final 10 outings.
Farrell made reference to the strides that Lester made since a swoon in May and June that pushed the lefty’s ERA up to 4.61 and caused some to wonder if the pre-2012 Lester was still living in that sturdy frame. Turns out he was, and Boston Sox have a pretty good deal of confidence handing the ball to him tomorrow.
According to the MLB live lines, Lester, Lackey, Buchholz and Peavy have combined to make 25 postseason appearances. Each pitcher is healthy and each has proven to be remarkably reliable when on the mound. Although he would never do so, Farrell could practically pick the order from a hat.
Farrell still hasn’t finalized the 25-man roster. He said earlier yesterday that he would carry 11 pitchers, which seemed to indicate that left-hander Matt Thornton and outfielder Quintin Berry were the final two pieces of the puzzle. That announcement may come today, when Boston engages in its final workout before the Tampa Bay Rays come to town.