I’ve seen Jon Lester flat-out make hitters look awful. You see, I’ve always favored pitchers over hitters. I’ve always followed pitching stats more than hitting stats. I enjoy watching most pitchers pitch. It’s a craft. An art. A sight to behold.
But my top 5 pitchers to watch? That’s easy. Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling (who should be in the HOF), Chris Sale, and Jon Lester. I know it’s lefty heavy, but oh well.
Lester didn’t throw the hardest or have the best command out of this group, but he sure was one of the most competitive. He was the only pitcher I can ever remember seeing that would start barking and screaming at the home plate ump a few pitches into the game. What an animal. Let’s have a look at some career defining moments and numbers.
And What A Career It Was
Jon Lester was drafted in the second round of the 2002 draft by the Red Sox and got called up against the Texas Rangers in 2006. That year, he went 7-2 with a 4.76 ERA in just under 82 innings.
On August 27th of that year, he was scratched from a start due to a sore back. Originally thought to be an injury from a car accident he was in earlier that year, he was sent to the hospital for further tests. Turns out he had a treatable form of lymphoma.
After treatment, Lester made his way back to the Red Sox, halfway through the 2007 season. That same season, he started Game 4 of the World Series against the Colorado Rockies. He picked up the win, and the Red Sox picked up another World Series Championship. On May 19, 2008, he threw a no hitter against the Kansas City Royals. He would also go on to win another ring with Boston in 2013.
Jon Lester Has To Pack His Bags
On July 31, 2014, Lester was traded to the Oakland Athletics, and later signed a six-year deal with the Chicago Cubs, in December. Jon was an instrumental part in helping Chicago break their curse and win it all in 2016.
Lester became a free agent after the 2020 season, and he signed with Washington for a one-year deal before being traded to St. Louis that summer. Lester earned his 200th win that September against the Milwaukee Brewers. He announced his retirement on January 12, 2022.
Jon Lester finishes his career after 16 seasons with 200 wins, an ERA of 3.66, 2,488 strikeouts, a 1.28 WHIP, 15 complete games. He was a 5x all-star, a 3x world series champ, NLCS MVP (2016), and NL wins leader (2018). Lester also has a lifetime 2.51 ERA in the postseason and 1.77 ERA in the World Series, to go along with his 4-1 record. The guy is a Hall of Famer, no doubt.
Now he’ll have more time for hunting, spending time with his family, and keeping an eye on his charity, NVRQT, which is short for “Never Quit”. It helps to support children with cancer, and researchers working towards a cure. I’ll miss watching you pitch Jon. Enjoy retirement, buddy. You’ve earned it.
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