Boston Red Sox: Hits Just Keep Coming as Lester Heads to the DL

Orly Rios Jr.Analyst IIJuly 6, 2011

Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester is headed to the DL, thanks to a lower back strain.
Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester is headed to the DL, thanks to a lower back strain.Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The 2010 Boston Red Sox may have been the most injured team in the history of Major League Baseball.

The Red Sox lost just about every single opening day starter, including three of their starting pitchers. 19 total Red Sox spent time on the disabled list. The Red Sox were so snake-bitten by the injury bug, that third baseman Kevin Youkilis even got hurt waiting in the on-deck circle.

Despite the injuries, Boston still managed to finish with a very respectable 89-73 record.

This year, Boston not only beefed up with the additions of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder Carl Crawford, the Red Sox had remained relatively healthy for most of the first half of the season.

In the last month, however, the Red Sox have caught a similar injury bug to what they suffered from last year.

On May 17, starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka's season came to an end with surgery on his right elbow.

On June 17, shortstop Jed Lowrie and pitcher Clay Buchholz, who had won his last five decisions, both ended up the disabled list with a strained lower back.

The very next day, Carl Crawford was placed on the DL with a strained left hamstring.

The injuries have stiffened Boston's momentum from an 0-6 start to a 42-20 run prior to the injuries. Since Buchholz, Lowrie and Crawford have gone on the DL, Boston is just 9-8 and has fallen out of first place.

On Wednesday, Boston got more bad news when their opening day starter, Jon Lester, was placed on the disabled list due to a back strain.

Lester has been Boston's most consistent pitcher, appearing in at least 32 games each of the last three seasons, 97 starts in total.

Boston's starting rotation, which many experts believed was among the very best in baseball, has suddenly lost three starting pitchers to the disabled list in less than two months, and has seen their fourth starter, John Lackey, implode on the mound, raising his ERA to a whopping 7.47.

With the trade deadline of July 31 quickly approaching, it will be interesting to see if Boston makes a move to acquire pitching depth to what has quickly become a retooled and depleted pitching staff.