WORLD SERIES NOTEBOOK: Ross, Lester find right magic
BOSTON — Jon Lester has put together an outstanding postseason with David Ross on the receiving end.
Boston’s light-hitting backup catcher has been behind the plate for Lester’s last three outings, and the left-hander has allowed just three earned runs in 19 1-3 innings.
“Me and him (have) kind of fallen into a little bit of a pattern, a little bit of a routine together, and it’s worked,” Lester said after pitching 7 2-3 shutout innings in Boston’s win in Game 1. “And we’ll just keep riding it out until the end.”
Lester was 1-2 in his first three games with Ross this season. Since then, they are 5-1.
The only loss came in Game 1 of the AL championship series, a 1-0 win by Detroit in which the Tigers allowed just one hit, coming with one out in the ninth inning. Jarrod Saltalamacchia caught Lester’s first postseason game, a 12-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Count on the Lester-Ross combination to make another appearance in Game 5, if there is one.
“They’ve really developed, I think, a really good rapport,” Boston manager John Farrell said. They have the “ability to read swings and make some adjustments from at-bat to at-bat or each time through the lineup. And we did it in the two games that Jon pitched against Detroit. So everything right now would point to that same tandem.”
ALL WRONG FOR WAINWRIGHT: Nothing went right for Adam Wainwright early in the World Series opener.
The Red Sox refused to chase his swooping curveball, took advantage when the right-hander let a popup fall in front of the mound for a hit in the second inning and went on to beat the Cardinals.
Wainwright started the second by getting Stephen Drew to hit a high pop in front of the mound, and he raised his hands as if signaling that he would catch it. Instead, Wainwright let the ball drop between him and catcher Yadier Molina, a fellow Gold Glove winner, for a single that started a two-run inning that opened a 5-0 lead.
“Tonight was a clear case of our starting pitching, being me, going out there and setting the wrong tone. That second inning completely (changes) if I catch the ball,” Wainwright said.
A 19-game winner in the regular season, Wainwright threw 60 pitches through two innings. He looked more like an ace after that but left after the fifth, trailing 5-0 and having thrown 95 pitches.
Wainwright allowed just one hit in his last three innings but, by then, it was too late.
MANAGING HOTBED: Boston’s John Farrell is one of five members of the 1988 Cleveland Indians who went on to become major league managers.
He was teammates with Bud Black, Terry Francona and Ron Washington. And Charlie Manuel was the hitting coach.
“Must have been something in Lake Erie,” Farrell said before Wednesday night’s World Series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals.
For those five, baseball “is more about a life as opposed to a job,” Farrell said. “There was a real desire to continue on after playing days were over.”