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Red Sox helping Lester to get back to basics

Red Sox helping Lester to get back to basics

Red Sox helping Lester to get back to basics

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jon Lester met with manager John Farrell and pitching coach Juan Nieves on Wednesday to discuss his recent slump.

The verdict?

Lester is probably just a few minor adjustments away from regaining the form he had earlier this season.

"We met today, the three of us, to get back to some basics and re-establish what his strengths are," said Farrell. "And that is his four-seam fastball to his glove side, and that's not to say that every pitch is in that location. That establishes release point in the event that he needs to go to an area to get back into a count or to start a hitter off with.

"But it hasn't affected him with all the pitches that he throws. Last night, it was pretty clear that he was searching to get some consistency and some semblance of a four-pitch mix rather than kind of searching from one pitch to the next."

Though the Red Sox had a clear reason for their game plan in Tuesday's game against the Rays, Farrell can see why it might have adversely impacted Lester.

"Typically, you'd like to go into a game and establish your fastball and things work off of that," Farrell said. "There was a distinct plan last night to try to incorporate more offspeed early on, given their approach to fastballs early in the count. And what it took away from was establishing the fastball to do just that. We've got to get back to some basics."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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