Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lester in elite company early on

Yes, Jon Lester still has a 5.11 ERA.

But if you consider the company in which his early-season strikeout numbers leave him, you have to believe he's well on his way to better days. Tomorrow's Union Leader story will reference an elite group of pitchers -- nine in total -- who have a K/BB ratio of 3.0 or better and a K/9IP ratio of 9.0 or better. That means they're striking out more than a batter an inning and still striking out more than three times as many hitters as they're walking.

Here's the group:
* Zack Grienke, 0.40 ERA
* Johan Santana, 1.10 ERA
* Dan Haren, 1.47 ERA
* Erik Bedard, 2.61 ERA
(How come no one's talking about the start Bedard has had for the Mariners so far this season?)
* Tim Lincecum, 3.16 ERA
* Felix Hernandez, 3.38 ERA
* Javier Vazquez, 4.19 ERA
* Jon Lester, 5.11 ERA
* Justin Verlander, 5.66 ERA

That's some impressive company Lester is in -- and a pretty good indication that he's still on track to turn in the Cy Young-caliber season many expected from him.

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