The New York Yankees – Boston Red Sox rivalry was at his best during the 2000s. Most fans would tell you that’s true, as it included some tense postseason series and World Series for each team.
One of the Red Sox’s postseason heroes is hanging his cleats and beginning a new chapter in his life. Pitcher Jon Lester told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers that he is retiring from baseball.
While he never faced the Yankees in the postseason, he was on the hill 30 times against them in his career, or the equivalent of a full season.
He faced the Yankees 30 times
Over those 30 starts, he covered 181 innings and had a 3.68 ERA, allowing 181 hits and striking out 181 hitters. He handed 71 walks and conceded 14 home runs.
Lester was always an intense competitor, respected by the Yankees and the league as a whole. He announced his decision to call it quits at 38 years old and after having his two worst statistical performances in 2020 and 2021: his ERAs were 5.16 and 4.71, respectively.
“It’s kind of run its course,” the left-hander said to Rogers about his career. “It’s getting harder for me physically … I’d like to think I’m a halfway decent self-evaluator. I don’t want someone else telling me I can’t do this anymore. I want to be able to hand my jersey over and say, ‘Thank you, it’s been fun.’ That’s probably the biggest deciding factor.”
Three World Series championships (2007 and 2013 with the Yankees’ archrivals, plus the 2016 edition with the Chicago Cubs), five All-Star berths, and a career 3.66 ERA are on his resume, plus his 2,488 strikeouts. He was also very good in crunch time: his ERA in the playoffs was 2.51 in 154 frames, which is absolutely amazing.
Besides the Red Sox and Cubs, he also played with the Oakland Athletics, the Washington Nationals, and the St. Louis Cardinals.
He retired with exactly 200 wins, and 117 losses. Both Red Sox and Yankees fans will surely remember Lester’s battles for a long time.