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1-2-3 Punch at Top of Red Sox Order

Jon Lester got to Fort Meyers ten days before the mandatory date and is looking to improve on his stellar first season as a full time starter. After winning the final game to clinch the World Series Jon Lester was given the opportunity to start. As the season wore on Lester only got stronger and more confident. The fact that he is a lefty in THE best division in baseball and he finished with a 3.21 era (4th in AL) and 16 wins (8th in AL), one can only be hopeful for the future of the young hurler. This kid is going to be electric this year and be one of 3 aces the Red Sox are looking to start in their rotation.

Daisuke Matsuzaka is another Cy Young Hopeful the Sox are putting out their every 5 games or so. When you get little to no respect even from your own fans and media because you happen to walk a lot of batters but happen to go 18-3 just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Walks do not tell the complete story of a superstar that has been overlooked because he’s tries to place the ball too precisely and walks batters. However his Win pct. (.857), W (18), and ERA (2.90) all rank in the top 4 in the AL and tell a different story of a pitcher that is one of the most dominant in the league.

After a partially injured and fully disappointing 2008 campaign left much to be desired, a full off-season and Spring Training should be enough to help propel Josh Beckett back into the Cy Young conversation. While not ranking in many categories in the top ten in the AL, Beckett was still able to get 172 strikeouts, good enough for 8th in the American League.

Having the three of these young studs at the top of the order, no matter whom they’ve got down in New York or Tampa should be enough to put some fear back in those teams. While the Yankees have improved and the Rays don’t look like they’re slowing down the Red Sox still boast one of the best pitching staffs in all of baseball.

-Brian Macdonald

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