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Jon Lester: David Price will 'figure out the Yankees at some point'

Rob Bradford
July 17, 2018 - 11:15 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. — During the regular season, Detroit has Jon Lester’s number. For his career, the lefty is just 2-6 against the Tigers with a 6.05 ERA in 11 starts.

So when Lester speaks to David Price’s struggles against the Yankees, there is some valuable experience behind the words.

Talking in the home clubhouse at Nationals Park prior to Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, Lester offered some advice to Price when it comes to turning things around against the team that has become his nemesis, New York.

“I haven’t seen enough of David Price’s games to know what’s going on. Obviously, I’m a baseball fan and I enjoy watching baseball. It’s easy to hear some stuff that’s going up there with everything,” Lester said. “But I think the biggest thing is sometimes when you have trouble against teams, we all have trouble against teams. We all have that one team that kicks our ass and for whatever reason you can’t figure it out. Sometimes it’s better to go out there and say, ‘Screw it, I’m not grinding this one. I’m going to try and execute one pitch at a time.’ A lot of times when that happens you look up you’re like, ‘Oh man, I threw the ball pretty well tonight.’ I think when you struggle against a team it’s kind of like, OK, when is it going to happen. I got through the first is it going to happen in the second? I got through the second, OK, is it now going to happen in the third? Then all of a sudden base hit to right, damn. Is this the inning? Walk. Oh man, Yankee Stadium, got a righty up. Boom. Three-run homer. There it is. You look up and you’ve given up six. Whereas if you’re just kind of plotting along and you’re not worried about that I think … It doesn’t always go well, but I think mentally that’s the way to kind of approach it sometimes. 

“Sometimes you have teams you throw your hat and glove out there and you breeze through them. And you have teams no matter what you do, you can throw knuckleballs or whatever, and you’re still going to get your ass kicked. It’s just part of the game.”

Some might suggest Price needs to adjust his thinking against a Yankees team that has put up 12 runs in just 4 1/3 innings against the Red Sox starter this season. Lester doesn’t think so.

“No, I don’t think David Price needs to reinvent himself,” the Cubs pitcher explained. “He’s a pretty darn good pitcher and he’s been one for a while. I’m sure from what I’ve heard about him as far as work ethic and how he goes about his craft he will figure out the Yankees at some point.”

And in case you were wondering, Lester’s mark against the Yankees is 13-6 with a 3.68 ERA.

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