Bottom 3: Lowrie's miscue leads to first run

Rob Bradford
October 01, 2008 - 4:08 pm

So now Jon Lester finds himself working through the Angels lineup for the second time. With leadoff hitter Chone Figgins, he threw him three straight fastballs to start the game and continued the trend on the first six pitches, eventually ending up with a swing and a miss for strike three. Figgins is now 8 for 50 in the post-season. Not good times for Chone! For the season, Lester held hitters to a .245 batting average in the first go-round, with it jumping up to .260 in round two. From there it remained at .263 from the third and beyond. Basically, he was pretty consistent throughout his outings, from top to bottom. It would seem his vulnerability is from pitches 51-75 when opponents hit .301. But after 100 pitches they are hitting just .239 and the OPS is the lowest of any segment in the game (.568). Looking back at David Ortiz's final out in the third, the Sox slugger dropped to 13 for 28 (.464) with 13 RBI with two outs and runners in scoring position in his post-season career. It remains the highest average in such situations in all time. Impressive stuff. After Lester got Mark Teixeira on another impressive curveball (he is throwing it 17 percent of the time to right-handers this season compared to 14 percent a year ago, entering his 53rd pitch he had had thrown 12 curves, 23 percent), he seemed to be out of the inning by inducing a grounder to shortstop by Vladimir Guerrero. But Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie made his first career error at shortstop, bumbling a sure out. He had 155 flawless attempts before that. It cost the Red Sox. Torii Hunter pulled a 95 mph fastball just in front of left fielder Jason Bay to score Anderson. Lester got out of it, with a grounder to Mike Lowell (his first lateral movement on a fielding play), but the Angels strike first. It was only the third unearned run given up by Lester this season, and fourth for his career. Angels 1, Red Sox 0