Jon Lester won his second game of the 2013 World Series last night, and this time he did it without the appearance of a green substance (Vaseline? Goop? Hair gel?) on the lip of his glove. In Game 1, Cardinals’ minor league pitcher Tyler Melling called attention to the fact that something was residing on Lester’s mitt, though the MLB decided that no foul play took place.
For the record, here’s what the glove looked like in Game 1:
It would be suspicious if Lester was noticeably less effective his second time out if he didn’t have his goop. Well, here’s his stat line from Monday:
7.2 innings pitched, 4 hits, 1 run (a solo homer), 0 walks, 7 strikeouts, 91 pitches (61 for strikes).
Compare that to his “goop game” from last week:
7.2 innings pitched, 5 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts, 112 pitches (76 for strikes).
If anything, you could argue that he was even better in Game 5 than in Game 1: With the exception of the solo shot, he was more efficient with his pitches and even put fewer runners on base.
So if Lester was cheating last time out (which we don’t think he was — although, seriously, what the hell was that stuff?), he appears to pitch better when he doesn’t cheat. At least he’s (likely) done for the series. Game 6 is Wednesday in Boston.
Photos via Getty