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In what should be a shock to no one, Joh Farrell has announced that Jon Lester will be starting Opening Day for the Red Sox. This start will mark the fourth time Lester has started on on Opening Day making him the first left hander in Red Sox history to do so (passing the likes of some guy called Babe Ruth). It has long been known that Lester would get the nod, so Farrell’s announcement is merely a formality.
Lester had a strong performance in 2013 going 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA over 33 starts. He was even more impressive over his dominant postseason run where he have up only six runs in 34 2/3 innings. Due to this, along with his solid track record, Lester was an obvious choice for Opening Day.
After a successful 2013 and postseason, Lester has not missed a beat this spring as he has only given up 1 run in 13 1/3 innings. Jon has shown that he is a workhorse and deserves the honor of starting Opening Day. Over his Opening Day career, Lester has allowed eight runs over 17 1/3 innings. It is important to note that five of those runs came on his first Opening Day start in 2011 against the Texas Rangers. Since then he posted a seven inning performance giving up one run against the Detroit Tigers and a five inning stint giving up two runs against the New York Yankees.
Lester’s will be facing the Baltimore Orioles on Opening Day, a team that he has a 15-3 record against. After starting 14-0 against the Orioles in his career, he is now 2-3 over the past three seasons. Though those numbers are certainly interesting, they should not be given too much merit either way as Jon Lester’s performance against the Orioles in 2011 has little bearing on 2014.
Lester, who is in the final year of his contract, is in the midst of contract negotiations with the Red Sox to keep him in Boston for the considerable future. Should they come to an agreement, there will be plenty more Opening Days in Lester’s future.