What Matt Moore did last night was demonstrate to Red Sox fans what an Ace can do for a team. It's something we haven't seen the likes of here since Josh Beckett's 2007 season.
The Rays didn't get an extra-base hit, yet they won. They didn't need to use their bullpen at all. Because of one pitcher having a great night and continuing his great season.
No Red Sox batter saw more than 15 total pitches from Moore. Only Mike Napoli saw that many. Seven Red Sox batters saw 12 or fewer pitches in their at-bats. Moore only needed 10 pitches to retire Jacoby Ellsbury 4 times.
Hopefully this was just the Red Sox running into a hot pitcher. Moore had won 5 straight starts coming into last night's game, and had an ERA of 1.91 in that stretch. So beating him was going to be tough.
Yesterday, I wrote a post about the Red Sox winning because of their character. Even character can't beat great pitching. The character part comes into play tonight as the Sox need to rebound from their night of silent bats. They're facing Roberto Hernandez who is 5-10 with a 4.90 ERA on the season. He's lost 4 of his last 6 starts.
Jon Lester, who has yet to prove he has the same levels of character as his teammates, is on the mound for the Sox.
This is the day after the Sox were shut down. They're facing a mediocre pitcher. They're tied with Tampa Bay in the loss column. They need something from Lester. Lester can help even up this important 4-game series, or he can give the Rays 1st place.
The team needs a good outing, Lester. Do you have the character to deliver?
AP Photo/Charles Krupa