Jon Lester heard the talk after his first couple of starts. He had a pretty poor beginning to his Chicago Cubs career, but Jon Lester likely knew that his talent was better than what he was showing on the field. After those first two starts, the Cubs ace has actually been pretty darn good.
The season turnaround for Jon Lester continued on Saturday afternoon as he was able to limit the damage the Pittsburgh Pirates were ablet to do and one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball improved to 4-2 on the season with a 3.70 ERA. Considering what Jon Lester's earned run average was at the start of the season, that particular record is absolutely sparkling. Jon Lester was the opening day starter because the Cubs expected him to be a pitcher that kept his team in the game every time out. He has absolutely been that pitcher over the last month and a half, and the money he was paid is looking well spent, considering the team just won it's sixth straight and currently sits in second place in the NL Central with a 21-15 record.
If you asked Jon Lester, he would likely tell you he didn't have his best stuff on Saturday. Despite pitching seven innings, he found himself in trouble a decent number of times. He managed to strand two runners in his final inning of the game thanks to the fact that he struck out Andrew McCutcheon. Most fans of the Chicago Cubs, as well as Jon Lester are hoping that what manager Joe Maddon saw was not a real problem. Right before he managed to end the inning, Jon Lester had a hitch in his windup that made his manager believe there might be something physically wrong. While the lefty did allow nine hits, he didn't walk a batter and struck out seven. The only run he allowed was a solo homer to Sean Rodriguez and that could be excused since Rodriguez has had a very good start to the year.
The win wasn't the only thing that was plenty impressive about the hurler's outing. The starter, who has been one of the best pitchers in baseball managed to get his 1,500th career strikeout in the fourth inning. Now the team and the team's fans will have to hope that Jon Lester can continue to roll the way he has been and stay healthy at the same time.
[Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images]