Thursday, April 9, 2009

Asked and answered: Jason Varitek

Red Sox starter Jon Lester pitched five strong innings and threw one bad pitch on Wednesday night; the lefty was charged with five earned runs, but a pop-up behind third that fell for a hit and a miscommunication on a squeeze bunt really were what ruined his night. Only his five-pitch walk to Gabe Kapler and the fastball he left up to Carlos Pena (a pitch Pena hit into the center-field bleachers) were really his fault.

The outing certain didn't diminish the faith Jason Varitek has in his young pitcher:

What went wrong for Jon in the fifth?
"We had some little things happen. Actually, he kept us in it -- he was one pitch away, the pitch to Pena that ended up being a little bit of the difference. ... A few freak things happened, and then he worked his way into keeping the game at a two-run game. He didn't get away with one pitch to Pena, and it ended up being a four-run game."

How tough a play is that squeeze?
"I took two hard steps (toward the ball), and it looked like Jonny had a bead on it and I went back to get home, but with those two hard steps, I got Jonny thinking I was getting it. We got criss-crossed there. I probably should have kept going through the play and got the out."

How did Jon look otherwise?
"I think Jon threw the ball well. He kept the damage -- there was some freak stuff in that inning -- kept it right there. We were just one pitch (away). Jon is going to do a great job for us, period. It's just unfornate that happened. He threw the ball well."

Is Jon's changeup where you want it to be at this point?
"He's going to progressively continue to get better with it. He made some good pitches with it tonight."

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