The confounding Lester
The lasting image of Jon Lester beating the Dodgers for the NLC crown is of Enrique Hernandez dancing like a fool off of 1st base. His job was to rattle the man who had thrown over 2,000 innings while being one of the best October pitchers of his generation.
Predictably it did not work and the Lester led Cubs beat the Dodgers 8 – 4. Lester did his job giving up only one run. It was a close game until the 8th when the floodgates opened and the Cubs scored five runs off the Dodger bullpen.
You are taught to respect the pitchers that can do it all. Pitch, field, bat, help shut down the running game. It appears that Jon Lester can only do one of those four things, but it is the most important of the four, and he’s pretty damn good at the pitching thing.
It is easy to mock a guy who pays zero attention to any runner who gets on base against him. It is not so easy to mock him when he walks off the mound without letting that runner score.
Lester is a weird pitcher, but he’s one hell of a pitcher.
Franklyn Gutierrez was brought in to help beat pitchers like Jon Lester. Franklyn has the history of pummeling left-handed pitchers but success against Jon Lester has eluded him in the past. He is only five for twenty-three against Lester with one XBH.
Justin Turner is hitless in eleven at-bats against Lester in the regular season. In two games against Lester last year in October, Turner went two for eight with two singles.
Does anyone remember the home run that Andre Ethier hit off of Lester in game one? I don’t.
In the two games that Lester pitched, Andrew Toles went a combined 3 for 3 but none of the hits came against Lester, they all came off the bench.