Chicago Cubs: Top 5 Jon Lester moments in a Cubs uniform

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Wild Card brilliance against the Rockies

The Cubs’ season may have come to a disappointing end in the NL Wild Card game, but Lester was absolutely dominant on the mound – doing everything in his power to propel his club to the NLDS.

After giving up a run in the first inning, Lester settled in to scatter four hits across six innings of work, striking out nine and keeping Rockies hitters off balance all game long:

It was the kind of performance that has come to define Lester as a big-game, down-and-dirty pitcher the Cubs want to send to the hill with their season on the line.

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Perhaps most notably, however, Lester showed strong veteran leadership in his postgame comments, where he noted that the loss may serve as a wake-up call that this young Cubs nucleus cannot simply rely on talent to succeed.

Decimating the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLCS

With the 2016 NLCS tied at two games apiece, the Cubs sent Lester to the hill against Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda.

After struggling to mount any offense in Game 2 and Game 3, Chicago had finally erupted for ten runs in a crucial Game 4 win.

But after scoring a run in the top of the first, the bats fell silent as Los Angeles eventually tied the game in the fourth inning.

No matter. Lester stymied the Dodgers in the middle innings before Addison Russell‘s two-run homer off of Joe Blanton gave the Cubs the lead for good.

The big left-hander allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings of work in a tremendous performance where the intensity was palpable from the first pitch on.