Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Survived Cancer, Won the Clinching Game of the World Series, and Now This:The Jon Lester No-Hit Story

Taking the mound last night for the Red Sox for the first time this season since being declared free of cancer is the 23 year old lefty Jon Lester. Lester was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma this past September. Lester was declared cancer free in December and has been working very hard in the minors to return to the majors. This is a very impressive accomplishment and one that can truly inspire so many.

Taking on the Cleveland Indians, Lester threw the first no-hitter of the season. It was the 18th in Red Sox history. Catcher and captain Jason Varitek set a major league record with Lester for catching the most no-hitters, 4. He shut out the Kansas City Royals for his first ever complete game.

Supposedly while Lester warmed up he "left his stuff at home". Lester later said, "If you all saw my bullpen [session] today, it wasn't pretty," said Lester. "You would have thought I wouldn't have gotten out of the first inning. It was terrible. I got out in the game and I've always been a slow starter. If I can get through the first, second, third, sometimes the fourth inning and be doing all right, then usually I can do all right into the game and get stronger. That was the case. I just felt more comfortable with my delivery, more comfortable with the stuff I was throwing." He persevered and had 2 walks and 9 strikeouts. It all came to a true when Lester blew a 94-mph heater -- his 130th pitch of the night -- by Alberto Callaspo. Though he's just 24 years old, Lester has already experienced more highs and lows than most 15-year veterans. A cancer recovery followed by a World Series clincher and a no-hitter?

Red Sox no-hitters
Jon Lester became the 18th pitcher in Red Sox history -- and just the fifth left-hander -- to throw a no-hitter on Monday vs. the Royals. It was also the first complete game of his career.
May 19, 2008Jon LesterKansas City
Sept. 1, 2007Clay BuchholzBaltimore
April 27, 2002Derek LoweTampa Bay
April 4, 2001Hideo NomoBaltimore
Sept. 16, 1965Dave MoreheadCleveland
Aug. 1, 1962Bill MonbouquetteChicago
June 26, 1962Earl WilsonLos Angeles
July 14, 1956Mel ParnellChicago
Sept. 7, 1923Howard EhmkePhiladelphia
June 3, 1918Dutch LeonardDetroit
June 23, 1917Ernie ShoreWashington
Aug. 30, 1916Dutch LeonardSt. Louis
June 21, 1916George FosterNew York
July 29, 1911Smokey Joe WoodSt. Louis
June 30, 1908Cy YoungNew York
Sept. 27, 1905William DinneenChicago
Aug. 17, 1904Jesse TannehillChicago
May 5, 1904Cy YoungPhiladelphia

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