Lester: Umpire West 'was fine for me'

October, 13, 2013
10/13/13
2:26
AM ET
BOSTON -- Red Sox pitchers, including Jon Lester and John Lackey, have been outspoken this season when asked about players who have been found in violation of Major League Baseball’s drug policy.

[+] EnlargeJon Lester
AP Photo/Elise AmendolaJon Lester had some questions for home plate umpire Joe West in the early innings.
Specifically, when the Red Sox hosted the New York Yankees and Alex Rodriguez was able to play while appealing a 211-game suspension, Lester did not think it was fair.

The Tigers’ Jhonny Peralta -- himself suspended for 50 games in the Biogenesis scandal -- went 3-for-4, including a pair of doubles and drove in the lone run as Detroit defeated the Red Sox 1-0. After the loss, in which Lester worked 6 1/3 innings and allowed one run on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts, he was asked if he had any issue with Peralta’s contributions in Game 1.

“I don’t want to go down that road,” Lester said. “With all the stuff that happened with Alex, I just don’t think no matter what you answer, I don’t think it’s good. I don’t want to go down that road, especially after we lost.”

Instead, Lester gave credit where credit was due as Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez and the rest of the Tigers staff that combined for a one-hitter en route to victory.

“Sometimes it stinks to be on that side but you just tip your hat, show up tomorrow, do the same thing and maybe we’ll score eight, you never know,” Lester said.

It was obvious during the game that Red Sox hitters were not happy with home plate umpire Joe West. On plenty of occasions, there were a lot of undesirable looks from Red Sox players. Even Lester had a conversation with West after the top of the first inning when the Boston starter felt he had struck out Tigers DH Victor Martinez on 2-2 pitch before West called it a ball. Martinez eventually grounded out to short.

“I thought the 2-2 pitch to Victor [Martinez] was a good pitch,” Lester said. “I just wanted to know where it was at. From what I heard, he was miked and I got the typical Joe West answer. Just wanted to get some information and he gave it to me in his typical way.

“For me, I don’t think there were many pitches in question,” Lester said. “You’d have to ask our hitters, I can’t comment for our hitters on that. For me, I felt like there was one, maybe two, just kind of your typical night; you’re going to have a few here and there that you feel like you threw pretty well that are just off, or just down. I thought he was fine for me.”

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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