Chicago Cubs: Coming off his worst start of the year
In his five post-All-Star Break outings, Lester has allowed eight earned runs on two occasions. That has certainly contributed to an unsightly 10.32 second half earned run average. He’s not missing bats, can’t keep the ball in the yard and isn’t doing much to take the load off the pen.
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He’s totaled just 22 2/3 innings since the Midsummer Classic – with opponents putting up a .386 BAbip against him. In the month of August, opponents are hitting a scorching hot .474 – which, again, has done the Cubs no favors.
The Chicago Sun-Times put together a great piece on Lester’s mentality – and what’s gone into his struggles. They point out what’s really gotten him in trouble – relying on essentially two pitches in tight spots. And, to be blunt, he’s had his fair share of such situations in recent weeks.
"“When you struggle with life or you struggle with anything, you immediately run to something that’s comfortable, whatever that may be,” he said. “Well, for me, that’s my fastball and my cutter. I’ve been running to that when I’ve gotten into trouble over a period of starts."
So what’s the answer? Change up how you’re attacking hitters. The good news? He knows that. Jim Hickey knows that. And there’s no way he keeps making the same mistake over and over. He’s too smart a pitcher to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.