Farrell: Lester needs to 'regroup mentally'

Farrell: Lester needs to 'regroup mentally'
July 3, 2013, 6:15 pm
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BOSTON --  Left-hander Jon Lester is making his 18th start Wednesday night, against the Padres. In his last outing, Thursday, against the Blue Jays, he gave up four runs in seven innings. It was the fewest runs he had allowed in five outings, and the longest he had gone in seven outings.
Lester started the season 6-0 in his first nine starts. But in eight starts since then he is 2-4, with a 6.99 ERA, giving up 37 earned runs in 47 2/3 innings. His last outing snapped a four-start string of giving up home runs, including multiple home runs in three games and a total of eight. In the 12 starts prior to that string he had given up five total home runs.
“It’s as much about making pitches in key moments,” Farrell said. “And there’s been times where -- and we’ve met with Jon and talked about this – there’s been times inside of a given game where there’s multiple guys on, he’s been in situations where he’s’ been ahead of the count, where the game plan is one thing but executing it is the difference between a zero or one run vs. a crooked number on the board.
“He’s clearly aware of it yet it’s inside that moment where a pitcher’s got to take a step back off the mound, regroup mentally, and have a clear vision of what he’s trying to execute. And that’s where the conviction to the pitch starts to come in, and you usually have better success when that process unfolds.”
Lester is facing the Padres for the first time. After this start, the only teams he will have not faced are the Dodgers, Reds, and, of course, Red Sox.