FORT MYERS, Fla. — It’s only been two spring training starts, but Red Sox manager John Farrell says that the difference between Jon Lester this spring and last year has been very apparent. Lester, coming off a year when he went 9-14 with a 4.82 ERA, has now logged five scoreless innings this spring, including three against the Pirates on Friday night. While the left-hander incorporated his full pitch mix — including his curveball, changeup and cutter against Pittsburgh — it was the location of his fastball that Farrell considered the most telling sign of Friday night.
“With each time Jon gets on the mound, whether it’s in side work or in game action, he’s been down in the zone consistently. That was the case again tonight,” Farrell said. “When you look at the lower half in his delivery, he’s working downhill much more consistently. If you look at video, any time mid-season last year till now, you’ll notice a very different lead leg. That’s been able to allow him to work from kind of a high to low type trajectory through the strike zone rather than collapsing on the backside and pushing the fastball through the zone. Probably the quickest way I could explain it. And that’s what’s allowed him to throw the ball down at the bottom of the zone.”
Of the nine outs Lester recorded on Friday, five were on groundballs, two were on strikeouts and two were on flyballs. Given that he is coming off a year in which he permitted a career-high 25 homers, the idea of getting Lester’s mechanics to a point where his arm is swinging overhead — thus permitting him to leverage the ball downhill — has been an emphasis. To date, at this very early stage of the spring, the left-hander has been successful in the undertaking.
“I was able to do the same things we’ve talked about early on — staying tall and driving the ball downhill,” said Lester. “I’m becoming more comfortable with the adjustments that we’re making. Anytime you make changes and you get good results from those changes, it reinforces them and you keep working on them. That was the thing last year. We’re trying to make changes and not getting good results, so it’s hard to stick with those and ride them out. Spring training is a great time to do it and really work on it because results don’t matter, but at the same time you still want to go out and have good results.”
The boys get into the media and how they cover the Pats. It's not always easy covering Belichick and a team that will not give any substance to reporters, but things could be worse.
The guys discuss the upcoming week for the Patriots with the Bills coming to town.
Curran joins the boys live in studio to discuss the future of the QB position in New England.
Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.
Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy
Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.
Joe and Tim talked to the Sox catcher, who caught 23 strikeouts from Sox pitchers in the extra-inning win in Tampa Bay.
Joe and Tim talk with the Red Sox DH, Big Papi, who provided the only offense for the Sox with a 2-run home run that gave the Red Sox a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays
In the midst of the Patriots routing the Texans, Mut recaps the game marking the sweep of the Orioles. David Price picks up his 17th win as the Red Sox have all but cemented their strangle hold on the AL East. They finish their final game with Baltimore in a 5-3 win.
Joey Mac joins Ken Laird on his Saturday show to discuss the David Backes addition and Loui Eriksson departure in NHL free agency
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Mike Lombardi discussed Bill O'Brien's tough night and Bill Belichick's approach to dealing with injured players.
In the final hour of the show Sean, Gerry and Kirk heard from some drunk callers to the Real Postgame Show and discussed how the Sox fared head to head against the Patriots last night on TV.
In hour three of the show Sean, Gerry and Kirk discussed the Pats win and took calls on Brady vs. Jimmy G.
Patriots DB Duron Harmon joined Glenn, Lou, and Christian. He talked about playing against Brock Osweiler, and the team's mindset at 3-0.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian are joined by Mike Florio of ProFootball Talk. He thinks Brady will eventually win out over Garoppolo, and Rex Ryan will be out of a job soon.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian talk about the surging Sox and their new mission of Playoff positioning.
We check in with the playmaker, hall of famer Michael Irvin breaks down the Pats win over the Texans and whether or not he'll be changing those Lombardi trophies.
Dale, Michael and Jerry spend the majority of our show breaking down an amazing win for the Patriots on Thursday night football.
We look at four instances in the NFL in which Bill Belichick earned his 'genius' title for coaching.
Kirk Minihane sits down with the Boston Globes Sports Media Columnist, Chad Finn. Kirk and Chad talk about the long and storied feud between WEEI and the Boston Globe and the ongoing ratings war between WEEI and the Hub.
Kirk and Gerry talk about how the show is going since the departure of John Dennis, how the fill-in hosts have been doing so far, and what they are looking for in a third host.
Kirk Minihane loves TV and movies, he sits down with TV critic and author of the new book "TV (The Book)" Alan Sepinwall to discuss the best TV shows of all-time and which show should be number 1. Kirk and Alan disagree on which show is the best of all-time and they both have compelling arguments. Kirk and Alan talk about "Cheers" being one of the most underrated and forgotten TV shows of all-time.
After another big win for the Pats on Thursday night, New England rejoices so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson get their thoughts in on the game, the Pats future at Quarterback and the difference between the Patriots organization and everyone else. Then the conversation turns to Fantasy Football featuring the slew of injured Runningbacks and who you need to get and start in their place, including Jerrick McKinnon, Charles Simms and Theo Riddick. The boys wrap it up with a look at solid Starts & Sits from RB to WR to TE. Something for every Fantasy Footballer and Football fan. Make sure you join Jim and Pete on Sunday at 8:00am for the WEEI Fantasy Football Hour.
Lucy Burdge is in to host the second edition of the K&C Recap pod with producers Ken Laird and Chris Curtis, but they don't get far as Kirk Minihane hijacks the program to dish on the show hosts and to blast Curtis.
Kirk, Gerry and Sean discussed the Pats dominating win over the Texans and Phil Simms made a fool of himself.More from this show