The initial introduction of A.J. Pierzynski to Jon Lester went without a hitch

Rob Bradford
March 10, 2014 - 1:25 pm

FORT MYERS, Fla. '€“ Almost as important as it was for Jon Lester to get on the mound for a real, live spring training game, Monday, was it was for A.J. Pierzynski to catch the lefty. The first-year Red Sox catcher is in the process of getting know all the Sox'€™ pitchers, with Lester '€“ the probable Opening Day starter '€“ an obvious priority. '€œYou get to know what they'€™re thinking, how they like to pitch and how they like to go about it,'€ said Pierzynski, a 17-year major league veteran. '€œThat'€™s the biggest thing is trying to get on the same page with all these guys, not having us out there shaking and trying to figure out where to go in certain situations and certain pitches. Just letting it become natural. '€œYou can talk and see them all you want but until you actually get out in a game, see what they do in certain situations, it'€™s not an easy task. Jon and I were pretty much on the same page today. We talked between innings. There was one time he shook me off I forgot what it was about, but other than that we were pretty good.'€ Considering the results '€“ with Lester allowing just one hit while striking out four over three innings '€“ the introduction in the Red Sox'€™ 6-2 win over the Rays seemed to go swimmingly. '€œI don't think there's a lot of teaching. A.J.'s been around a long time,'€ Lester said. '€œHe's played against me, he knows what I'm about and what we try to do as a staff. He did a good job today. The biggest thing is just getting back behind there and catching. I learn something new every time I throw to him, and he does the same. You just have to continue to develop that rapport and go out there and battle together. '€œWe made some adjustments after the first inning. That first inning I was up a little bit. I was flat and pushing the ball; I don't know if that'€™s adrenaline or just being excited or what. After that, I settled back in, the effort level went down, which is where I want to be. As far as location, it was good. It can always be better. I'll just continue to work on that.'€ Adding to Pierzynski's day was an RBI double.