Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lester You Bum

Okay, I want to see a hand of all those Jon Lester owners who were just screwed out of 64 points on Monday?  It's one thing to have your team face a pitcher who throws the infamous no no. Nothing like trying to climb out of an immediate 64 point hole.  However, it's a whole world of nightmares to be the owner of a player who tosses a no no, only to find out he's sitting on the bench or worse yet, in the minors.  

This happened to me on Monday.  Seriously, I had every right to bench the kid.  In his first 10 games this year, Jon Lester averaged 10.1 FP per game.  Granted, the last four games he scored 25, 24, 6 and 13 FP's for an average of 17.0 FP per game.  Still, those wins were against the struggling Blue Jays, Tampa (despite their fast start, they still suck), Minnesota and Baltimore. Not what I would say is your toughest offensive teams in the AL.  So, sending the less than "WOW" Lester to the bench was the right thing to do.

Beyond the FP's, I was still justified in my decision.  Of his first 10 games, only once did he go past 6-2/3rds of an inning.  Four times he didn't even reach the 6th inning.  Sure his ERA was fairly nice, but his highest strikeout total was 6 against the Blue Jays and in that game he gave up 4 walks .  It also was his longest outing to date, 8 innings.  However, his K to BB rate wasn't worth keeping him in when he is averaging just 10.1 FP's per game (3.1 k's to 2.9 walks per outing).  

Then again, I should have known better.   The signs were there.  In that game against the Jays on April 29th, Lester gave up only 1 hit.  Lester's ERA was decent and it was not his fault that 6 of his previous 10 games resulted in no decisions, including that gem against the Jays.  Lester, if you remember was also the big stud pitcher in 2006 before fighting cancer.  At 21 years of age, he went 7-2 with a 4.65 ERA. and averaged 11.7 FP's per game.  He came back at 22 years of age in 2007, after winning his battle against cancer and went 4-0, with a 4.57 era and a 12.0 FP average.  So the talent was there all along.

Then again, as my name says, I am a Yankee and despite owning Lester (the benefit of a nice prospect draft), I was not willing to admit he was poised to throw a gem.  It's true, we Yankee fans truly hope for every possible disaster to befall the hated Red Sox.  I also know they, wish the same for us and are more than content with my Yankees being in last place right now.

Whatever my reasoning, Jon Lester was sent to the minors the Sunday before his no no.  A decision that will haunt me all week.  Instead of taking in 64 points, I find myself facing an uphill battle.  As of today, after most of Wednesday's games have been played, I am down 145-69. If only I had those 64 points, the deficit would be a small 145-133.  To make matters worse, I would have had Lester in the SP2 slot where sits Aaron Cook and his 3.o FP outing in his first start of the week.  That's a 61 point difference!  

If only... 

It's the tale of my season.  I guess I can rejoice in the fact I finally decided to call up Joey Votto from the prospect list, just prior to his 3 home run game a couple weeks back.  So I guess in the game of baseball, you win some and you lose some.  But seriously, a 64 FP "could have been if only" is a tough pill to swallow when your down nearly 80 points half way through the week.  Lester you bum!

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