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Jon Lester About To Join Elite Club

The fact that Jon Lester is a great pitcher is one thing all in itself. But add to it the fact that Jon Lester is a left-handed pitcher, and that's just a whole new ballgame.

Being that most of the amazing pitchers in baseball history write with their right hand, being a great lefty is even more special. And now Lester -- at just 26 years of age -- is on the cusp of joining the most elite lefties in baseball history.

As Matthew Pouliot points out at Hardball Talk, Lester is one of three left-handed pitchers this season that will, most likely, join greats Randy Johnson, Sandy Koufax, Sam McDowell, Johan Santana and Sid Fernandez as the only lefties to have more than one season with at least 9 strikeouts per nine innings:

Lester is essentially a lock. With 208 strikeouts in 190 innings, he's on pace to lead the majors in strikeouts per nine innings this year (if only because Brandon Morrow was shut down and won't qualify for the ERA title).

Whatever the group may be, when your name is listed next to Randy Johnson's and Sandy Koufax's, it's a good group to be in.

Jon Lester is -- as crazy as this may sound -- the closest thing to Pedro Martinez the Red Sox have had since Pedro Martinez. Pedro may go down as the first or second greatest pitcher in the history of baseball, so it's really hard to judge Sox pitchers against him, but if you don't already know it, Lester is fantastic. He's no Pedro -- but nobody is.