The enthusiasm generated by the nearly simultaneous returns of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford was stopped dead in its tracks on Tuesday night in Fenway Park with what can be summed up in six words - what is wrong with Jon Lester?
Lester (pictured) had another subpar outing lasting just 4 innings. He was charged with 6 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks in the Red Sox 7-5 loss to the White Sox at Fenway Park. Former teammate Kevin Youkilis slammed a 3-run homer off Lester in the top of the 4th inning to just add to the misery.
For their parts, Ellsbury (2) and Crawford (3) each had multi-hit games, as did Adrian Gonzalez who had a pair of singles. The Sox made it interesting with 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th inning, 2 scoring on Kelly Shoppach's pinch-hit home run, his 5th roundtripper of the year.
As for Lester, clearly something isn't right, and it goes beyond any of the September 2011 references you're going to hear between now and his next start. It's one thing to pitch to contact; it's another to look like the second coming of John Lackey. The at bat that is sure to draw the most scrutiny will be the one to Youkilis with two on in the top of the fourth. After falling behind 3-0 to Youk, Lester threw two strikes and then - with 1st base open - left a pitch up in the zone that Youkilis hammered into the Monster seats. Is he hurt? Is he sick? Is something more serious that baseball going on in his life at the moment? Only Lester can answer those questions. And until he does, the malaise that is the Red Sox 2012 season will continue.Jim Monaghan 7/17/2012 10:17:00 PM Tweet