After last night's tough fifth inning for Jon Lester, he fell to a poor 3-5 mark. His ERA has shot through the roof and sits at 6.07, with the pressure catching up to him as the season goes on.
How is this happening? Lester has compiled a 27-8 record with the Red Sox in his first three years, dominating the most last year as he became a large part of the rotation. In none of those years has his ERA gone above five, nor had he ever been one to fall behind in his counts.
The key thing here is the amount of home runs he's given up. Early in the year, he has already given up 11 home runs in eight starts. Last year through 22 starts he only gave 14.
Not to mention one of those home runs was given last night at a crucial point versus Minnesota Twins hitter Justin Morneau.
The odd thing is, Lester has been averaging over six innings per game. Anyone who saw that number would have to believe the pitcher got a solid performance, right?
Not in this case, with his ERA still through the roof.
His slow start is not going to matter in the end. With Lester's best performance only last week against the run-scoring Blue Jays, he has the chance to repeat another one-run game. If he can keep getting through enough innings, he should be able to control his runs too.
The home runs will have to slow down, and his pace throughout all innings needs to carry through. Yet overall, by the looks of things all the pieces are there for Lester to get back on his game.