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.”
Fred Smerlas, Steve DeOssie and Butch Stearns break down all aspects of the Patriots win over the Lions, and take your calls as well.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the Patriots' 34-9 win over the Lions, the team's seventh win in a row. The defense stepped up again and now gets a crack at Aaron Rodgers next Sunday.
The guys give their final thoughts and predictions leading up to the 1pm matchup with Detroit.
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Kyle Draper joins Danny Picard to talk about the Celtics chances this season in the Eastern Conference, last Wednesday's home opener blowout against the Nets, and Rajon Rondo's future in Boston
Red Sox beat writer Brian MacPherson joins Danny Picard to talk about the Red Sox going after Jon Lester and other free agents.
The Hot Stove guys are talking about Pablo Sandoval and Jon Lester's contract offers from the Red Sox. They then por one out for the Giancarlo Stanton rumors being put to bed.
The Hot Stove boys are back again, talking about Jon Lester, Pablo Sandoval, Giancarlo Stanton's b
Dale and Michael get Jack Edwards' 'state of the B' report and talk about the win over the Blues at the Garden on Tuesday.
Andy Brickley joined the show and touched on last night's convincing win over a good team, Matt Bartkowski needing a wake up call, and the NHL review process.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins struggles, the NHL franchise in Las Vegas, and the return of the glow puck!
BC's head coach joined the show to preview the Florida State game.
Rodney Harrison previewed the Patriots and Lions with the guys.
The top stories of the as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Detective Fauria tells us the infamous gloryhole story from VICE squad and other stories Christian's past.
Just out of practice, Kyle Arrington joins the guys to preview Pats-Lions
Christian in Foxboro returns, this time he's trolling Detroit sports radio station 97.1 The Ticket's Stoney and Bill show . Christian rips Lions fans and asks why his nephew, Joseph, isn't getting the ball more.
We check in with the playmaker Michael Irvin for his weekly update on all things NFL. We talk to Michael about the Raiders first win, the LeGarrette Blount saga, and how the Pats will do against the Lions this weekend.
Michael and Dale discuss Jonas Gray's tardiness, and try and predict how the running-back will respond and make up for his error.
We talk with Tom E Curran and debate whether or not the Patriots current performance is more reminiscent of the 2004 or 2007 Patriots.
Brandon covers the NFL, particularly the Detroit Lions for Bleacher Report. He gives us his thoughts on this Sunday's game and how the Lions stack up against the Patriots.
Mikey, Villani, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are talking Patriots-Lions and how the team this year stacks up to Patriots teams of the past.
Some more Musical Mikey Magic to get ready for Sunday's Patriots-Lions game.
Jerry Thornton's first podcast explores sports stories that would make for interesting 30 for 30 documentaries.
Andy Merritt of the New England Hockey Journal joined WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin to talk about the play of Vermont and Providence, as well as other happenings around Hockey East. Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy also joined the show to talk about his team’s good start, his freshman class and how he uses possession stats.
Joining the show today Mut the all-purpose back of WEEI. We talk about players we have hated over the years as well as Rajon Rondo and what is ailing the Celtics.
Christian in Foxboro returns, this time he's trolling Detroit sports radio station WDFN's Shep in the Morning Show. Christian rips Lions fans and asks why his nephew, Joseph, isn't getting the ball more.More from this show
The guys opened the show discussing the Raiders win over the Chiefs.More from this show
Michael and Dale discuss the return of LGB, and how the move really wasn't that surprising to begin with.More from this show