Chicago Cubs: Will tonight mark the beginning of Jon Lester’s turnaround?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

As the Chicago Cubs head into the final six weeks of the season, they need their gritty veteran ace, Jon Lester, to step up and lead the charge to October.

It’s no secret. The Chicago Cubs need Jon Lester to get it figured out – and they can’t wait much longer for him to do so. That may sound like an overreaction, but with the St. Louis Cardinals playing their best ball of the year and the Milwaukee Brewers not going away any time soon, it’s now or never for Lester.

Through the All-Star Break, the veteran southpaw looked like the Jon Lester of yesteryear, earning his fifth career All-Star selection with a sterling 2.58 ERA and 1.191 WHIP in 19 starts. With pretty much every other Cubs starter lacking any degree of consistency, he anchored the staff with a rock-solid performance every five days.

And, then, the second half dawned. For Lester, things fell apart dramatically.

He has pitched past the fifth inning one time in five starts. Lo and behold, Chicago won that lone contest. Funny how that works, isn’t it? When a starter pitches deep and is effective, the Cubs win. Unfortunately, in his other four second-half starts, he’s been struggling to even keep the team in the ballgame.