A setback is a setup for a comeback.
Jon Lester returned from a big setback beating out a treatable form of lymphoma cancer and on “his” day, Lester went out and got two victories: a win in his first return to the Major Leagues beating Cleveland 6-2 and a personal victory as well capping off a long and emotional journey.
Lester got some help in the process to ease his nerves in his return as the Boston Red Sox (60-39) started off his comeback trail in the Majors with a four run spot as Manny Ramirez doubled home two runs in the first inning and ended his night going 2-4 with one run, one walk, and two RBI’s.
J.D. Drew added an RBI single and Mike Lowell grounded into a double play that scored Ramirez giving Boston and Lester a 4-0 lead.
This night was clearly all about Lester with his parents in the stands and Red Sox fans giving him as much as a standing ovation as possible, Lester’s first pitch was a strike and everything fell into place picking up his first win of the 2007 season after not pitching in the Majors since August 23 against the Los Angeles Angels.
Lester pitched for 6 innings throwing 96 pitches (55 for strikes), giving up five hits, two runs, three walks, one homerun, and struck out six Cleveland Indians (58-41).
Admist the emotional and inspirational performance from Lester, Coco Crisp kept his hot streak going turning in a 4-5 game with three singles, a double, and three runs.
Grady Sizemore hit a two-run homerun in the third giving the Indians their only runs on the night.
Lester had one tough inning and it came in the bottom of the fourth as Sizemore who had already homered off of him was up with the bases loaded. Sizemore was the go-ahead run at the plate and Red Sox manager Terry Francona had arms warming in the bullpen, but Francona and everyone else in Red Sox Nation wanted to see Lester battle and get through it.
He completed the inning striking out Sizemore getting out of the first jam pitching jam of his 2007 season, but the true story in all this was that Lester is one special person and his story is inspring.
Lester did win tonight’s ball game, but it is safe to say that Lester and all the people involved in his journey won on this night in some facet regardless if the boxscore had a W or an L next to Lester’s name.