Jon Lester gave Red Sox fans quite a
scare on Friday night when he took a Melky Cabrera line drive off the
inside of his right knee. He looked to be in considerable pain,
crumpling to the ground before limping back to the dugout. Similar
comebackers have knocked Roy Halladay (leg) and Brad Bergesen (shin)
out for the year in recent seasons.
However, X-rays on the knee came
back negative and Lester was diagnosed with a contusion on his right
quadriceps. In fact, things were looking so good on Saturday morning
that the Red Sox are now optimistic that he can make his next scheduled start against the Indians on Thursday:
“We’ll monitor him the next couple days,” Francona said. “This time
of year, they don’t always throw a side, anyway. So that doesn’t
necessarily get in the way. And we’re certainly not going to let him
pitch if he’s hobbling around out there. But he doesn’t necessarily
have to do a side day tomorrow, either. He looked pretty good. He’s
The Red Sox would like to keep Lester on his regular schedule, but
they will make an adjustment to his preparation for the postseason if
the contusion on his right quadriceps demands it.
If he makes his Thursday start, as
scheduled, he would line up perfectly to start Game One of the ALDS,
most likely against the Angels, on Wednesday, Oct. 7 or Thursday, Oct.
If he wasn’t 44 years-old we’d just call it a slump, but the way Bartolo Colon is pitching right now makes you wonder if the end is nigh.
Colon was shelled this afternoon, giving up seven runs on ten hits and walking three in five innings of work to take the loss against the Pirates. That brings his ERA up to 6.96 on the year. He’s allowed five or more runs in five of his ten starts and opposing batters are hitting .320 against him. One of the big reasons he had been so effective into his 40s had been his low walk rate — he led the NL in this category for the past two seasons — but he’s walking more guys this year than last.
The Braves picked up Colon for the reasons a lot of rebuilding teams pick up veteran starters: to provide innings and stability until the younger arms of the future can mature. Colon, however, has been the weakest link of the Braves rotation.
At some point, every baseball player reaches the end. Almost all of them do it before the age of 44. One hopes, given his history and popularity that Colon is just experiencing a rough patch and that, by mid season, he’ll be reliably pumping strikes into the zone the way he has the past few seasons. But with each bad start he registers this year, that’s seeming like more and more of a stretch.
Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.
Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.
Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.
Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.