10 best single season performances by Chicago Cubs players in the last decade
4. Jon Lester 2016
Not only did the Cubs have an elite offense in 2016, but their starting rotation put up unbelievable numbers you would normally only see in MLB The Show. Just because I love looking at those stats, I will include them here for their glory to be showcased.
Kyle Hendricks: ERA 2.13, IP 190, SO 170
Jon Lester: ERA 2.44, IP 202.2, SO 197
Jake Arrieta: ERA 3.10, IP 197.1, SO 190
John Lackey: ERA 3.35, IP 188.1, SO 180
Jason Hammel: ERA 3.83, IP 166.2, SO 144
Usually having just one of your starters post a low 3 ERA is what you would typically expect, but the Cubs had four of their starters below the 3.50 mark, and all of them tossed close to 200 innings. The only one eclipsing the coveted 200 mark was the notorious workhorse, Jon Lester. When the Cubs signed Lester ahead of the 2015 season, it was a clear statement to the rest of the League that they were ready to compete. Although 2015 was by no means a bad year for the southpaw, Lester took things to another level in 2016, and his numbers speak for themselves.
Lester functioned as a reliable, inning-eating beast during most of his tenure as a Cub and they relied on his previous postseason success with the Red Sox to guide the staff in 2016. The emergence of Jake Arrieta as a second ace and the late-career renaissance of John Lackey was the icing on the cake as the stars aligned to give the Cubs one of the best starting rotations in recent memory. Lester finished the year with a 4.2 WAR and the second-lowest ERA in baseball behind the next guy on this list.