CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 11: Starting pitcher Jon Lester # 34 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the ball versus the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field on August 11, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jon Lester’s struggles continue in a Cubs loss to the Nationals
CHICAGO, IL -AUGUST 11: Beginning pitcher Jon Lester # 34 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the ball against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field on August 11, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Picture by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO– In the first half of the season, he was the ace that Cubs fans have gotten used to given that the beginning of the 2015 season. Over the last month, however, he’s begun looking more like the pitcher who had an up-and-down 2017 season.Jon Lester’s post All-Star Break struggles not just continued Saturday but reached near record levels for the pitcher.In just 3 2/3 innings versus the Nationals, Lester gave up a season-high 9 runs and connected his high mark for made runs with 8. Washington knocked 3 homers into the bleachers in Wrigley Field on Saturday in a 9-4 defeat.The pitcher, who was 12-2 before the All-Star Break, now is up to
0-3 since July 20th with an ERA over 8. “I suggest, I don’t wish to police officer out anything, however I guess I’m simply in a rut right now,” stated Lester, who falls to 12-5 on the season as his AGE increases to 3.89.” Probably seemed like a few of the better things I’ve had more than the last few starts which was the result.”Lester didn’t have much of a chance to get any momentum as Ryan Zimmerman crushed a two-run homer with two outs in the first inning to put the Nationals up 2-0. He would then get a sacrafice fly in the third to make it 3-0. After the Cubs got an operate on a sac fly of their own from Javier Baez(Now with an NL-high 89 RBI) in the third, Washington exploded in the 4th. Daniel Murphy took a Lester pitch to the opposite field for a two-run homer of his own to make it 5-1. Trea Turner’s single up the middle brought another run home prior to Zimmerman put it away with a three-run homer to left field that put the Nationals up 9-1 and went after Lester from the game.The Cubs were able to press across 3 runs late, but the offensive highlight of the day came in
the third inning when Anthony Rizzo selected up his 1,000 th hit on a single to. It took a back seat to the battles of another among the Cubs, who has actually lost his touch up until now in the second half.Not that the first baseman is stressed.” He’s our horse, we lean on him and we’re going to continue to lean on him down
the stretch,”said Rizzo of Lester.”I know for a reality that we have all the self-confidence worldwide when he goes on the mound to pitch well and get us a ‘W.’ “Even when things aren’t going so well at the moment.