Lester gem once again ends in defeat

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Lester gem once again ends in defeat

TORONTO -- Jon Lester has pitched 15 innings this season and has allowed just one run, but finds himself with an 0-1 record and a no-decision.

That tough-luck mark is attributable to two things: Lester has drawn two of the American League's best pitchers (Justin Verlander and Ricky Romero) as opposing starters; and the fact that his teammates have given him virtually no run support.

On Opening Day, Lester battled Verlander nearly pitch-for-pitch, but the Sox were blanked until the ninth, by which time Lester was out of the game.

It was only marginally better Wednesday in the Red Sox' road trip finale. Lester allowed two runs in the third and another in the eighth, but got just a single run of backing from the Boston lineup.

"Jon was fnatastic,'' said Bobby Valentine. "Other than the last inning, there was only one inning (Toronto) got hits in.

"That's the nature of the beast when you go up against guys like (Verlander and Romero),'' said Lester. "I got outpitched again. That's plain and simple.''

For the first time this season, the Red Sox scored before their opponents on Wednesday, nicking Romero for a run on three singles in the top of the third.

But the Jays countered quickly with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Rajai Davis tripled home Eric Thames and Yunel Escboar followed with a sacrifice fly.

"A couple of balls that I left up, they hit,'' recounted Lester, "and they ended up scoring some runs. You can't do that against guys like Romero and Verlander. It just makes it too
hard on our offense to give (the opponent) a lead and have our guys try to fight from behind.''

Both starters settled in after that, with Lester retiring the next 15 hitters in a row. When he buckled in the eighth on a two-out walk, a botched pickoff throw and a run-scoring
single from Escobar, the Jays had themselves an insurance run that they wouldn't even need.

"We're not playing well right now,'' concluded Lester. "The games we pitch well, we don't hit. And the games we don't pitch well, we hit. We haven't put it together right now.''

Brady on the effectiveness of Belichick's approach: 'You're brainwashed'

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Brady on the effectiveness of Belichick's approach: 'You're brainwashed'

During his weekly interview with WEEI's Kirk and Callahan Show, Tom Brady highlighted the thought process that has helped make the Patriots such a successful team under Bill Belichick, and in the process of complimenting his boss, Brady also may have taken a little inadvertent shot at the Steelers. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin noted immediately after the Divisional Round that the Patriots had an advantage in preparing for the AFC title game because they had more time to rest.

"I would say in general on our team we have a sign on our wall that says, ‘Doing the right thing for the team when it might not be the right thing for you.’ That’s just putting everything aside," Brady said. "Ignoring the noise, the positive things people may be saying about you, or the negative things people may say about you. Just believing in yourself and not making excuses.

"There’s always an excuse you can build into why you lose a game. 'We’re only playing on six days rest, we have this person hurt, or we didn’t get that call.' There are a million of them, and they’re all built in and you can pick them all off before the game. I think our coach does a great job of never buying into the B.S. He never makes it about one player. He never makes it about one play. He never makes it about one call, or one situation. It’s all about all of us collectively trying to do the best thing we can for the team to try and help us win. He never lets his foot off the gas pedal so when it comes to our team, you’re brainwashed. That’s just the way it goes."

The numbers support Belichick's approach: He'll be coaching in a 10th Super Bowl, and seven of those have come as the head coach of the Patriots. Both are NFL records.

Boomer Esiason hopes Tom Brady writes a book about his true feelings for Roger Goodell

Boomer Esiason hopes Tom Brady writes a book about his true feelings for Roger Goodell

Boomer Esiason talks with Toucher and Rich about Tom Brady and the Patriots "dancing around" the issue of winning this season following the suspension, and he would love to see a book in the future