NEW YORK — Jackie Bradley Jr. may steal the show for now, but over the course of 162 games, which player’s performance is more important to the success of 2013 Red Sox than Jon Lester?
The answer: no one’s.
Lester will attempt to put aside his horrible 2012 as he goes head-to-head with CC Sabathia at Yankee Stadium Monday afternoon to kick off the Red Sox’ 2013 campaign. If Lester continues his spring training rebirth, it should be an excellent duel of two of the top lefthanders in the game.
Lester, who won 19 games in 2010 and 15 in 2011, lost his mechanics during the September collapse of 2011 when he went 1-3 in six starts with a 5.40 ERA when the team needed him most, and he was linked to the “chicken and beer” mentality of that clubhouse.
He spent most of the first half of last season (9-14, 4.82) trying to figure out what went wrong, first working with Bob McClure and then finally clicking with Randy Niemann, who was given the pitching coach job after McClure was fired.
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