Jon Lester [stats] pitched five pretty effective innings last night and left Yankee Stadium with a no-decision in the 4-3, 12-inning loss.

It figures.

His season has been an inconclusive enigma.

"Going into the game, I want to go through nine," said the left-hander, who allowed one unearned run on eight hits with one walk and just one strikeout. "I was just trying to get out of that (fifth) inning best I could with the least amount of damage."

Lester finished his season with a 9-14 record and a 4.82 ERA in 2051/3 innings.

During his previous four seasons, Lester's ERA was 3.33, finishing each year somewhere between 3.21 and 3.47.

His goal each spring is to reach the 200-inning plateau, and the results usually have been excellent.

This season was anything but excellent.

"Kind of my year. I'm glad it's over,'' Lester said. "I did what I could. Took the ball every five days, threw as many innings as I could, and the rest just didn't fall in place.