(SportsNetwork.com) - Jon Lester went through the gamut following Game 1,
first reveling in a scoreless World Series performance then having to answer
questions about a strange substance found in his glove.
Red Sox manager John Farrell attributed the unidentified green ink blot to a
rosin bag his ace keeps in his glove, and Lester equally refuted any
accusations of doctoring the ball.
Any talk of Lester's glove ended Monday with his left arm.
Squaring off against Adam Wainwright for the second time this series, Lester
limited the St. Louis Cardinals to one run over 7 2/3 innings as the Red Sox
moved within one win of a World Series title with a 3-1 victory in Game 5.
The left-hander sent the Red Sox back to Boston with a 3-2 lead by allowing
only four hits and striking out seven to join Curt Schilling and Pedro
Martinez as the only Boston pitchers with six career postseason wins.
"I expect a lot of high things from myself, as do my teammates," Lester said.
"You don't want to let those guys down. And we're all trying to pull on the
same rope and get to one common goal. And that's what makes this team pretty
David Ortiz is the likely favorite to win the MVP award if Boston takes home
the championship, since the slugger is hitting an otherworldly .733 (11-of-15)
with two home runs and six RBI through the first five games.
But Lester's numbers can't be overlooked. He's pitched into the eighth both
times out, given up just one run on nine hits, walked one and fanned 15 -- all
while battling tightness in his back.
"That started to gradually come on a little bit more. You could see his
reaction after he'd throw a pitch," Farrell said of the back injury. "There
was a little bit of gathering after each pitch."
That explains why Farrell pulled Lester after the 29-year-old threw only 91
pitches -- 61 of which went for strikes. He retired 13 of the final 14 hitters
he faced after yielding a Matt Holliday homer in the fourth inning.
He completely controlled a St. Louis lineup that led the NL in runs and
improved to 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA over 21 innings in three career World Series
If the Red Sox wrap up the series Wednesday in Game 6, or Thursday if
necessary, they certainly have Ortiz to thank, but Lester has made a strong
case for being on the trophy stand with him, controversy or not.
The Sports Network