Terry Francona: 'Lester's Doing Pretty Well'
Let's just get it out of the way: Jon Lester is OK.

According to Boston.com, Red Sox manager Terry Francona smiled on Saturday when talking about his prized left-hander, who took a Melky Cabrera line drive off his leg in Friday's 9-5 loss to New York.

"Lester's actually doing pretty well," Francona told the Web site. "He showed up, and he's got a nice bruise. He knows he got hit there."

Will Lester miss his next start on Thursday against the Indians? Unlikely.

"We'll monitor him the next couple days," Francona said. "This time of year, they don't always throw a side, anyway. So that doesn't necessarily get in the way. And we're certainly not going to let him pitch if he's hobbling around out there. But he doesn't necessarily have to do a side day tomorrow, either. He looked pretty good. He's doing alright."

Boston better hope Francona is shooting it straight and not sugarcoating. Lester is the best hope the Red Sox have at making a deep run this October. Sure, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz have been good, but Lester has been consistent — and consistency has been hard to come by in this rotation in 2009.

The southpaw, currently 14-8 with a 3.52 ERA, is 6-2 in the second half with a 3.04 ERA and an opponent batting average of .232. In 83 innings, he has allowed 72 hits and 28 runs, and he has walked 28 while striking out 87.