Jon Lester reacts after another disappointing May outing. (AP Photo)
As we enter the last day of May the Red Sox are in a virtual tie with the Yankees, and are coming off a month that saw them playing the best ball in the Big Leagues. They won 19 of 28 games during the month, and led the league in nearly every offensive category. Last nights 7-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox is only their second back-to-back losses of the month, with the other time coming back on May 5th against the Angels. As the Red Sox flourished in May, Jon Lester, their lefty ace, seemed to hit a bump in the road.
Lester was one of the best pitchers in baseball during April, and posted a 2.52 ERA in six games started. In May Jon saw his ERA inflate to 4.45 in five games started, while he pretty much had the same amount of walks vs. hits in both months, he did pitch nine innings less in May, with the big difference being in opponents batting average. Players hit a lowly .214 off of him in April, but that got bumped up to .275 in May. All this said, it's not like Lester had an awful month, but he didn't have a Jon Lester month, and was flirting with danger more than your accustomed to seeing during repeated starts. This is normally OK, but with both Lackey and Dice-K still on the DL, the Red Sox are going to need to rely on their Big 3 (Beckett, Lester, Buchholz) a little more than normal. And with back-to-back losses by Beckett and Lester, the Red Sox now turn to the surprised success of Alfredo Aceves tonight, who has allowed only two runs in 11 innings.