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Home » July 2010 Game CommentsJuly 2010 » Simmering Southpaw

Simmering Southpaw

Jon Lester was hot in at least two senses of the word. The lefty carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, striking out 10 batters until that frame, and was literally unhittable.

With one out Lester induced an easy fly ball off the bat of Jack Wilson to center, or so he thought. As he overran the ball slightly, Eric Patterson didn’t field the ball face-on but rather reached back to glove it. The sphere glanced off the leather and trickled away from the center fielder. Lester didn’t display John Lackey levels of emotion, but the fact the Lester even betrayed a twinge of disappointment was surprising for him.

Michael Saunders shattered the no-hit bid and Boston’s lead right after Patterson’s mishap with a resounding four-bagger to right. With recent extra inning and one-run games tapping the bullpen dry, Terry Francona had to stay with Lester as long as possible.

Milton Bradley led off the eighth with a triple and Lester stayed in the game. Shortstop Wilson reached up to flawlessly execute the suicide squeeze to score Bradley and Lester was still on the mound. Saunders soundly smacked Lester’s leg with a smoking infield single and Ichiro Suzuki walked and Lester continued to toe the rubber.

Only when Chone Figgins doubled down the first base line to plate Saunders and render the score 4-1 in favor of the home team did Francona call upon Manny Delcarmen. The difference between making up a two-run deficit compared to a larger gap was the dividing line between staying with an exhausted starter and summoning an erratic reliever.

Game 98: July 24, 2010
Red Sox
1L: Jon Lester (11-5)
HR: David Ortiz (19)
5W: Chris Seddon (1-0)
H: Jamey Wright (2)
S: Garrett Olson (1)
2B: Chone Figgins (12)
3B: Milton Bradley (1)
HR: Michael Saunders (8)

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