Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm An Employee. I Follow Orders.

Those were David Ortiz' words before last night's game with the Minnesota Twins, as he was officially moved to the sixth spot in the batting order.

Papi went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk in his spot. It was the first time he batted in that slot since May of 2004. The Red Sox had tried sitting him for a short stretch, with little success. So the next move was obvious, down in the order.

But the real story from last night's 5-2 loss to Minnesota was the regression once again of Jon Lester, who had pitched four scoreless innings, and the Red Sox had a 1-0 lead. But the wheels came off in the fifth, as Lester was once again haunted by the "one bad inning." With the score 2-1, Lester gave up a three-run shot to right by Justin Morneau that sealed the game for the Twins. Five in the fifth, and that was it.

It was the fifth time this season that Lester has allowed five in a game. All last season he did that a grand total of five times, in 33 starts. His ERA is now an eye-popping 6.07. Not good.

The Red Sox remained in first place, one game up on New York, as they lost, 7-3 in Texas, and the slumping Blue Jays continued their freefall, losing in Baltimore, and are now 1 1/2 games back in third.

There was some good news last night, as John Smoltz continued his progress in his eventual arrival at Fenway Park. He threw 60 pitches and 3 1/3 innings for the Portland Sea Dogs in a game in New Hampshire. He will pitch again on Sunday for Single A Greenville and will toss 75 pitches. He is currently on schedule to pitch June 16th against the Florida Marlins at Fenway, and if that happens, his next start after that would be against his old mates from Atlanta.

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