The game was tied at one by the second inning. Ellsbury singled on the game’s first pitch and ended up scoring on a sac fly by Pedroia. But Lester gave up a single, a walk, and then a double play that did not prevent him from giving up three consecutive walks, the last of which resulted in a run scoring.
And that’s how we all figured out that Lester was in for an awful night. It only got worse from there, and to be honest, it’s not that easy to do worse than four walks in a single inning.
He gave up solo shots in the second, fourth, and fifth. While securing the first two outs of the third, he managed to allow a single, a walk, and two consecutive RBI singles.
He was lifted after giving up that home run in the fifth in favor of De La Torre, who promptly surrendered a solo shot of his own. But not before Lester had allowed an obscene seven runs on eight hits while walking seven and striking out three in less than five innings of work.
The Rays scored during every single inning in which he was on the mound. At no point were we even remotely safe during his watch.
There is so much that is wrong with that line. First of all, he gave up seven runs. Secondly, he gave up almost as many runs as hits, which means that there were several home runs too many in there. Thirdly, he gave up just as many walks as runs, which means that he needlessly put way too many runners on base. Fourthly, he struck out less than half the number of batters he walked, which means that he obviously had no command or control, in case he didn’t let us know that in every other conceivable way.
The surprise, therefore, was not the fact that Lester’s night was so bad. The surprise was that, somehow, the Rays did not make it even worse. With the way he was pitching, that would not have been difficult to accomplish.
Meanwhile, the only other time we scored was the third. Iglesias singled, Ellsbury reached on a fielder’s choice, Victorino moved them both along with a sac bunt, Pedroia struck out, Papi intentionally walked to load the bases, and Napoli singled in two runs.
De La Torre ended up pitching the rest of the game and, I think, really impressed. He was great. Ironically, perhaps he should have started. We lost, 8-3.