Lester puts in 'good day of work' in loss to Pirates

Lester puts in 'good day of work' in loss to Pirates
March 6, 2013, 7:45 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Making his third appearance this spring, Jon Lester went four innings against the Pirates Wednesday afternoon, giving up one run on two hits and three walks with three strikeouts. He threw 54 pitches, 33 for strikes, with first-pitch strikes to seven of the 16 batters he faced.

“Physically it was good,” he said of his outing. “Everything felt fine, as far as that. Nice to be able to do that, get up and down four times, especially after having a little long second inning there and getting up in the pitch count. So it was good to get through four.

Manager John Farrell was satisfied with Lester’s outing.

“Good four innings of work today,” Farrell said. “I thought he used his curveball a little more today than he had in the previous two outings, part by design, part by some of the situations that arose. Might not have been as sharp as his last time out. But still [54] pitches in four innings, a good day of work.”

Lester, who was not involved in the decision as the Sox fell to the Pirates, 9-3, struggled with the feel on some of his pitches, he said, particularly the curveball and changeup.

“Didn’t throw any curveballs for strike. Babied a couple of changeups,” he said. “Just didn’t really have a feel for any off-speed pitches. So it’s the nice part of spring training is you get back to bullpen in two days and get to work on all that stuff. It was kind of the result of three walks was falling behind guys, just trying to get a feel for stuff, then trying to battle back and make the perfect pitch and getting myself in a little bit of a jam.”

One of the benefits of spring training – which can also lead to skewed results – is that pitchers can continue to throw a pitch that has been challenging them until they get it right – or scrap it – without worrying about the numbers. Lester, though, said he didn’t take that approach today.

“That’s kind of the idea, I guess,” he said. “[But,] we didn’t really do that today. I threw it a couple times, threw a couple curveballs in some non-damaging situations and trying to get a feel for a couple changeups, same thing. But, yeah, usually in a regular season game you try to just save that one for maybe later in the game, you get a feel for it. Kind of the same deal. You get some non-damaging situations, first pitch of an inning or two-outs-nobody-on situations where you can maybe get a feel for it. And a lot of times that happens, but in spring training, yeah, sometimes just try to grind through it and go I’m just going to throw it until I get a feel for it. Other times like today, you just kind of bag it and pitch around it and try to just get up and down four times.”