Chicago Cubs: When do you start worrying about Jon Lester’s struggles?

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Lester knows something’s not right

After the rival St. Louis Cardinals shellacked Lester for eight runs in late July, he, per usual, took the blame and mentioned an ongoing effort to make some mechanical adjustments in his delivery.

"“You know, I don’t want to chalk this up as bad days happen,” said Lester. “I think mechanically this has kinda been coming.”"

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After turning in three seven-inning starts in the month of June, the left-hander has failed to accomplish that feat once since then. His last coming on June 20 in a 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

His three starts to close out July were particularly worrisome. He totaled just 14 innings between the three times out, due largely in part to opponents lighting him to the tune of an 8.36 ERA and .321 average.

He struck out only 11, walking eight – another trend that’s emerged as the season has continued. He’s not getting the swing-and-miss putaway pitches when he needs them. Opponents are battling – and winning – far more often than we saw earlier in the campaign.

"“I’ve been getting outs,” Lester said after that July 20 start against St. Louis. “I just feel like when I’ve had that strikeout or I have a guy set up for that pitch I haven’t been able to execute it.”"