Now for the bad news. Since that game in April, Buehrle has only given up 6 earned runs in 4 games. Although the Blue Jays have won all of his starts, Buehrle is only credited with 3 himself. For the season, his record currently stands at 7-1 with a 2.11 ERA and batters averaging .253 against him. If you are hoping that he hasn't played well on the road, you will be disappointed to find out he is 4-0 on the road with a 1.25 ERA and .94 WHIP. While I'm not sure how we should categorize a 4 pm game, his .64 ERA in day games and .180 average against isn't very consoling. Yep, he's pitching better in May than he was in April. The only flaw in Buehrle's game this season is when he gets to two outs.
A few of the usual suspects have hit Buehrle well in the past. In the past 5 years Ortiz has hit 2 homers off of him and collected 7 RBIs. During that same time frame Dustin Pedroia has hit him for a .385 clip.
While none of the Blue Jays have hit Lester very well, it will be important that he keeps guys off base. Of the hits Lester has given up to them in the past, over 40% have been for extra bases. If Lester wants to keep the Blue Jays off the scoreboard he will need to avoid going inside to lefties. Although he hasn't pitched them inside much, they have been feasting on that location with him this season.
If Lester's pattern of wins and losses stays in check, be prepared to get an "L". If Farrell is at all superstitious, he should pull Lester after 5 innings if he is in position to win.
This will be the third time Lester has pitched to Pierzynski in the regular season. The last time was on April 22nd when the Red Sox were drilled by the Yankees 3-9. Lester only lasted 4 2/3 innings and Pierzynski had a passed ball and throwing error.
- Pedroia, 2B
- Victorino, RF
- Ortiz, DH
- Gomes, LF
- Pierzynski, C
- Bogaerts, SS
- Carp, 1B
- Holt, 3B
- Bradley Jr., CF