Lester's solid outing results in no-decision

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Lester's solid outing results in no-decision

BOSTON -- Balls aren't finding gloves for Jon Lester at the moment.

The lefty allowed four runs (only two earned) in six-plus innings on Tuesday night, and he didn't factor into the decision in Boston's 8-6 extra-innings loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.

Afterwards, Lester said he felt pretty good, allowing eight hits and striking out five while walking one in 99 pitches. And after all, he did leave the game in the seventh inning with a 4-3 lead.

But after left-hander Endy Chavez led off the seventh with a single, and all righties at the top of the Baltimore order due up, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine had his bullpen perfectly lined up to enter the game, with Lester having thrown nearly 100 pitches.

"Any time you come out of a game, it's tough," said Lester. "But our bullpen's been great. Just a little hiccup tonight. No big deal. Next time we're in that situation, they'll pick me up. That's the way baseball goes. Obviously I'm not worried about it."

Scott Atchison and Matt Albers came in and allowed three more runs to score. But Lester -- even still a game under .500 -- didn't seem too distraught. He knows his bullpen will be better the next time, and he felt good out there, personally.

An error to Mike Aviles in the third inning put runners on first and second with one out, and then a sacrifice fly put runners on first and third with two outs. The error proved to be costly because it gave the Orioles an extra out to work with, and they made Lester pay, as Adam Jones and Matt Wieters each singled to drive in two third-inning runs and put Baltimore up 2-0 early.

"I felt good," said Lester. "I feel like I threw the ball pretty well, with the exception of two balls, or really one: the triple in the first. And then, I don't really know how Wieters hit that ball in the third.

"The balls that aren't squared up for me aren't finding gloves right now. It's just part of baseball. You've just got to keep throwing, and hopefully it will turn around for me."

Valentine also thought Lester threw the ball well on Tuesday. It just didn't play out the way he had hoped.

"Jon battled too," said Valentine. "The first two runs, he thought he was out of the third inning I think with the ground ball. And they scored a couple, and then we tied it. And then he gave that one up in the sixth. And after he gave up a hit to Endy Chavez, I thought Lester had just had enough . . . Jon threw the ball pretty well."

David Ortiz re-enacts Boston movie scenes as part of charity video

David Ortiz re-enacts Boston movie scenes as part of charity video

As part of a charity promotion with Omaze, David Ortiz has made a video re-enacting scenes from Boston-set movies. 

The movies range from a classic -- "Good Will Hunting" -- to very good crime movies -- "The Departed, The Town" — to the just plain bad "Fever Pitch," but all of the scenes are entertaining. Ortiz plays every part in each scene, often playing to characters interacting with one another. 

At the end of the video, a link is given to Omaze.com/papi, which gives fans the opportunity to enter a drawing to attend his jersey retirement ceremony by donating. Proceeds go to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund and the Red Sox Foundation. 

The David Ortiz Children Fund aims to help children in New England and the Dominican Republic who are born with congenital heart failure. 
 

Drellich: When will Red Sox players hold themselves accountable?

Drellich: When will Red Sox players hold themselves accountable?

BOSTON -- Whether John Farrell is managing the Red Sox next week or next month, keep an eye on player accountability.

Five years ago, Bobby Valentine was supposed to be the disciplinarian that stopped babying the clubhouse. Disaster followed, largely because Valentine was a terrible fit for this group, his approach extreme and dated.

But this year’s team makes you wonder whether a distilled sense of Red Sox entitlement lingers.

At Fenway Park, is the message from the veteran voices one that includes a sense of public accountability for not just the manager, but the players as well?

In FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal’s piece on Farrell, Rosenthal noted “some players, but not all, believe that [Farrell] does not stand up for them strongly enough to the media.”

Those unnamed players Rosenthal cites need a mirror, badly. Or at least a glance around the room.

Where’s the guy in the clubhouse standing up to the media with any consistency? There’s no voice that regularly shields the younger, less experienced guys from tough but expected questions after losses.

Dustin Pedroia gets dressed and leaves the clubhouse faster than Chris Sale will get the ball back and throw it Wednesday. 

Pedroia mentioned something about whale poop in Oakland over the weekend. He can be very funny, but he’s not exactly keen to deliver calming, state-of-the-union addresses — not with frequency, anyway.

Farrell, of course, has been criticized for doing the opposite of what the FOX Sports story noted. The manager was mobbed on social media last year for saying David Price had good stuff on a day Price himself said the opposite.

The premise here is amusing, if you think about it.

Follow: Players are upset that the manager does not do a better job lying about their performance. And this, in turn, affects how players play?

Get a grip.

The public isn’t dumb. If you’re bad, you’re bad, and you’re going to hear about it in Boston. No manager changes that.

Whichever Sox player seeks more protection from Farrell really needs a reminder from a teammate to play better.

Too often, some of the most famous, prominent athletes can be sensitive, and over-sensitive. Look at how LeBron James handled a question about what led to his poor performance in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

It is true that some players question Farrell’s leadership, as Rosenthal reported. But it can also be difficult to separate questions of leadership from whining and grumbling that a manager isn’t providing said player more chances, more opportunities, even if undeserved.

How can Drew Pomeranz's unfounded dugout complaints be Farrell's fault?

The situation and player that make Farrell look the worst this year is Hanley Ramirez. The idea of him playing first base is gone, his shoulders apparently too screwed up to make that viable. 

Somehow, Ramirez made 133 starts at first base last year. One has to wonder how all of a sudden Ramirez can barely play a single game. 

If he’s hurt, he’s hurt. But the Sox didn’t come out of the gate in spring training and say, first base is out of the picture because of his health. They kept saying there was hope he'd be able to play in the field.

If Ramirez is being obstinate, he’s in turn making Farrell look weak. And, more importantly, hurting his team.

What would Ramirez be doing if David Ortiz hadn't retired? Spending the year on the disabled list?

Farrell can pack up his bags today, tomorrow or after the next full moon. The players would still need to take it upon themselves to do what’s best for their team: to focus on what matters.

If they’ve forgotten, that’s about performing up to their abilities and being accountable for themselves -- publicly and privately -- when they don’t.

A manager’s quote in the media doesn’t change whether you’re playing bad baseball.