Red Sox Magic Number - 31
With the Red Sox beating the Devil Rays and the Yankees being eviscerated by the Angels last night - the Red Sox magic number is now 31.
Jon Lester who was the winning pitcher in last night's game coincidently wears #31 for the Red Sox. Lester is an impressive 9-2 so far in his career with Boston. What is not impressive is the fact that his career ERA is over 5.00 (5.02 to be exact) and opponents are hitting .287 against him.
I know that Lester is an inspiration having beat cancer but as a major league pitcher - I'm just not sold on him. If Lester makes a start in the playoffs - I'm going to bet the over. Not to be harsh but Jon Lester is the leading reason to re-sign Curt Schilling for another season.
Meanwhile, the Yankees got destroyed last night in Anaheim which is near Los Angeles. Mike Mussina couldn't even get out of the second inning. Since I dumped on a Red Sox pitcher - I figure I should take this opportunity to be equal opportunity and dump on Mike Mussina as well.
This season Mike Mussina has been pretty bad. He's 8-9 with a 5.22 ERA. Batters are hitting over .300 against him (.305 to be exact). Where Jon Lester also has an ERA over 5.00 - there is hope that Lester will improve but with Mussina you get the feeling his career is now on a slippery slope and improvement is not on the horizon. If the Yankees did make the playoffs (which they won't) - Mussina would probably be slotted as their number 4 pitcher by Joe Torre (behind Wang, Pettitte and Clemens). He should also be behind Phillip Hughes but Torre likes his veterans.
Mike Mussina - number 5 starter for a second place team. That's what its come down to. At least Jon Lester won't cost the Red Sox $11 million next year.