After a disastrous three-day road trip to play the Tampa Bay Rays, in which two brilliant pitching performances by Clay Buchholz (8 IP, 2 ER) and Josh Beckett (7 IP, 13 Ks, 1 ER) were wasted by the complete and utter lack of offense, the Sox returned home desperate for a win. They knew it wasn’t going to be easy, matching the inconsistent Jon Lester up against Toronto ace Roy Halladay.
Unfortunately, while I was at Sera del Fuego’s band practice (show next Tuesday! 5/6 at T.T. The Bears!), my DVR decided it didn’t like me and failed to record a large chunk of the game. I got to see the first inning and the last three and nothing in between. Weird. But I saw enough to be impressed.
Though he didn’t get a decision, Jon Lester pitched eight shutout innings of one-hit ball, in what was probably his best major league performance ever. Roy Halladay was equally brilliant through eight, but finally coughed up a run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Red Sox a walk-off 1-0 win, David Ortiz drove in by Kevin Youkilis’ single to center.
I know offense is the big crowd draw for baseball these days, but there’s nothing better to me than a great pitcher’s duel. If Lester can pitch like this more consistently, pounding the strike zone instead of nibbling at the corners, he’ll find lots of success.
Can’t really comment much more since I missed most of it. Looking forward to Dice-K’s start tonight, and as always, wondering which Dice-K we’ll get. The strikeout machine or the walks machine?