In the series finale Thursday, the Chicago Cubs turn the ball over to ace Jon Lester, seeking to end the four-game set on a high-note.
As this week’s eventful four-game series in Washington draws to a close, the Chicago Cubs turn to their stopper in Jon Lester. The veteran southpaw takes the ball in Thursday’s matinee finale against the NL East-leading Washington Nationals.
Washington is rapidly nearing the 50-win mark this year as they hope to set themselves up for a deep postseason run. They counter Lester with right-hander Joe Ross. The former first-rounder has struggled this year, pitching to a 1.48 WHIP and 5.40 ERA in 10 starts.
In his last time out, he was sharp, tossing seven frames of one-run ball.
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Meanwhile, Chicago continues to look for some semblance of consistency this year. After barely escaping the opener with a 5-4 win, the team dropped Tuesday’s contest. In that game, Washington swiped seven bags and Miguel Montero made controversial postgame remarks. Those, of course, led to the team designating him for assignment Wednesday.
Thursday was one of the lowest points of the season for the Cubs. Veteran John Lackey got hit hard and the team dropped a second-straight to the Nats. Furthermore, the team lost Kris Bryant to an ankle injury in a bizarre play at third.
There is scarcely a better man to turn to in such a situation than Lester. The longtime veteran is one of the most mentally-tough arms in baseball. Although he has not pitched as well as he did last season, Lester is still an above-average arm.
His last time out, he turned in a quality start, surrendering three earned in seven innings pitched against Miami.
Following Thursday’s finale, Chicago heads to Cincinnati to open a weekend series against the Reds. Mike Montgomery (1-4, 2.50) starts for the Cubs. Former Chicago hurler Scott Feldman (6-5, 4.07) opposes him.
First pitch is at 6:10 p.m. CT Friday evening from Great American Ballpark.