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.
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.