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34 Jon Lester SP
Height/Weight: 6-4/240 | Birthdate: 1/7/1984 | Birthplace: Tacoma, WA | Bats/Throws: L/L | Team: Chicago | College: No College | MLB Experience: 10 | Salary: $11,625,000 | Owned/Started%: 97/76 | Average Draft Position: 28.60
CHC

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Cubs SP Jon Lester struggles in loss on Thursday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(6/25/2015) Cubs left-hander Jon Lester battled, but ultimately had a disappointing outing on Thursday, as the Cubs fell to the Dodgers 4-0. Lester had trouble with his command, as he walked four and struck out five over four innings. He gave up four runs on four hits, needing 75 pitches to get through the fourth.

Lester was hit early and often, as he gave up two runs in each of the first two innings, and was never able to get into a rhythm in this one. This was Lester's shorted outing this year, as his ERA increased to 4.03 on the year.

"It's hard to pitch when you're ball one, ball two all the time," Lester said, per ESPN.com. "It's frustrating right now because all the work is there. I feel good going into starts. I'm just searching for things."


Cubs SP Jon Lester gives up one run in no-decision on Saturday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(6/20/2015) Cubs left-hander Jon Lester turned in a solid performance in his start on Saturday against the Twins. Lester struck out seven over 6 1/3 innings, allowing just a single run on three hits while walking three. But he was left with a no-decision, as the Cubs won the game in extra innings. Lester left the game after throwing 102 pitches.

"I never [want to come out]," Lester said, per MLB.com. "That's the way I've always been. I don't want to leave games. That's why you have managers and pitching coaches to make those decisions for you. I may not be happy at the time, but I'll never second-guess the manager on what he's trying to do."

The only run Lester gave up came on a solo home run by Kurt Suzuki in the second inning. He cut his ERA down to 3.80. Over his last two starts, the veteran lefty has allowed two runs in 13 1/3 innings pitched.

He's set to square off against the Dodgers at home on Thursday.


Cubs SP Jon Lester tosses seven innings in no-decision


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(6/15/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester had great stuff during Sunday's 2-1 win over the Reds.

Lester threw seven innings and allowed just one earned run. He struck out four batters and allowed five hits, but earned a no-decision as the game went all the way into the 11th inning tied at a run apiece.

Lester (4-5) has a 3.99 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 79 innings of work this season.


Cubs manager Maddon not worried about Jon Lester


by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(6/13/2015) Cubs ace Jon Lester has been anything but recently, racking up 11 earned runs and 18 hits over his last two starts, leading some to wonder what is wrong with the lefty. 

But don't count manger Joe Maddon among those who is worried. Per ESPN.com, the skipper said he "isn't concerned" about the pitcher's poor recent outings. 

"If he has a couple of bad outings, it doesn't bother me in the least. If a guy is good and he's not injured, he's OK," Maddon said. 

Lester, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday, is 4-5 with a 4.25 ERA in 12 starts this season and 0-2 with a 10.61 ERA in June. 


Cubs' Jon Lester loses third straight


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6/9/2015) Cubs starter Jon Lester lost his third straight decision, Tuesday against Detroit. 

Lester went 4 1/3 innings, his shortest outing since Opening Day on April 5. He gave up five runs on nine hits. Lester walked two and struck out five.

"It seems like right now, the good pitches I make are just through or just out of reach of guys and the bad pitches I make are at the wrong times and getting squared up,” Lester said, per MLB.com. “I think everything is magnified right now."

Lester's record fell to 4-5. His next start is Sunday against Cincinnati.  


Cubs' Miguel Montero will be designated hitter on Tuesday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(6/9/2015) Cubs catcher Miguel Montero will serve as the team's designated hitter in Tuesday's series-opener against the Tigers in Detroit. Montero started each of the last three games behind the plate, so manager Joe Maddon opted to give him a partial, but keeping his bat in the lineup.

David Ross will do the catching for Jon Lester on Tuesday, as he typically does when Lester is on the mound. 


Marlins tag Cubs P Jon Lester for 6 runs


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(6/3/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester gave up six earned runs in Wednesday night's 7-3 loss against the Marlins. 

Lester gave up four runs in the second inning, which set the tone for the rest of the game. He went five innings, surrendered nine hits, struck out four batters and walked two. This was the opposite of his previous start, when he had 10 strikeouts. 

Lester now has a 3.86 ERA this season. His next start is projected for June 9 against the Tigers. 


Cubs P Jon Lester allows 1 earned run in loss to Nationals


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester gave up two runs — one earned — in Wednesday evening's 3-0 loss to the Nationals. 

Lester pitched a solid game, though gave up a home run to Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper in the sixth inning. Then again, most pitchers have found it difficult throwing to Harper of late. Lester was still able to strike out 10 batters.

Lester has allowed only four earned runs over his past three starts and now holds a 3.30 ERA. 

His next start is projected for June 2 against the Marlins. 


Cubs' Lester goes seven innings in no-decision


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/23/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester tossed seven innings and allowed two earned runs in a no-decision on Friday against the Diamondbacks.

The outing was Lester's first no-decision since April 24, he had produced four consecutive wins May before Friday. Lester recorded four strikeouts while allowing five hits and walking two batters.

Lester has posted a 3.56 ERA this season in 55.2 innings.


Jon Lester gives Cubs seven strong innings in win on Saturday


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/16/2015) Cubs ace Jon Lester continued his dominance on the mound Saturday against the Pirates. Lester went seven solid innings, allowing just one run on nine hits. He walked one and struck out seven as he improved his record to 4-2.

The only run Lester surrendered was a solo home run to Sean Rodriguez in the third inning. He got into a bit of a jam in the fourth when he had runners on the corners with one out. But he got back-to-back strikeouts to get out unscathed.

Lester threw 74 of his 110 pitches for strikes as he lowered his ERA to 3.70 on the season. His next start is scheduled for Friday in Arizona.

"Jonny was fabulous, and that permitted everything to work for us today because their pitcher's really good too," manager Joe Maddon said, per ESPN.com. "You have to pitch better than good pitching to win, and we had the better pitching today."


Cubs pitcher Jon Lester strikes out six in win on Monday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/11/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester allowed three runs on five hits in six innings of work in Chicago's 4-3 win over the Mets on Monday.

Lester cruised through the first three innings of the game without allowing a hit. Then in the fourth, Lester allowed an RBI single to Kevin Plawecki. Then in the sixth, Lester surrendered back-to-back home runs to Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores. He managed to finish the inning without any more damage.

"I think it was a story of good, bad and indifferent all in one," Lester said. "It's something to build on, but the biggest thing is that we won."

Lester, now 3-2, pushed his ERA to 4.80 in 41 2/3 innings of work. He will look to get back on track Saturday against the Pirates.

"I think Jon's just fine," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I see him getting better every time out. ... Give him a little bit more time as he builds into this thing. I like what I'm seeing."


Cubs pitcher Jon Lester earns win in Wednesday's game


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/6/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester earned his second win of the season during Wednesday's 6-5 win over the Cardinals.

"That's why you want a guy like him on your staff," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, per MLB.com. "Typically, his stuff kept getting better as the game progressed, we've seen that a lot. I thought his cutter became more pertinent later in the game. He made good pitches when he had to. He keeps making positive strides, and that's good for us."

Lester tossed seven solid of innings of work, allowing four runs (one earned) on seven hits. He also struck out six batters and walked two. He surrendered a solo home run to Johnny Peralta in the fourth inning.

It was Lester's second-consecutive appearance pitching seven innings and surrendering one earned run or less. He is now 2-2 with a 4.04 ERA on the season.

"He's just got a real good sense of his game," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Lester. "He knows when to expand the plate. He's got deception, he's got a good variety of pitches. He's just a good pitcher. He knows what he's doing."

He is expected to go for his third win of the season Monday against the Mets.


Cubs LHP Jon Lester finally lights-out in Friday start


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/1/2015) Perhaps a flip of the calendar from April to May was all it took for Cubs newcomer Jon Lester to find himself on the mound.

Lester, who had improved the last two starts, put it all together Friday in a shutout win over Milwaukee. He gave up just three hits with one walk and four strikeouts in seven innings. He shrunk his ERA from 6.23 to 4.71 in the process.

"This is a big day for me, personally," Lester said, per MLB.com. "It always goes back to your first start in Spring Training, your first start of the season, get that first 'W.' Obviously, I would've liked to have had it happen a little while ago, but that's not the case. Today's a big day. We'll celebrate this, have some fun with it, and tomorrow, back to work."

The left-hander struck out Wily Peralta with the bases loaded in the second, then cruised. He really locked in late, retiring the last 10 batters he faced.

Lester will try to take his momentum and run with it next Wednesday in St. Louis.


Cubs starter Jon Lester remains winless, takes no-decision Friday


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/24/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester allowed three runs on five hits and struck out 10 in six innings of work Friday for a no-decision, remaining winless on the season.

Lester's three runs allowed came on two groundouts and a sacrifice fly.

"I'm learning," Lester said, who had spent his whole career in the American League. "New league, new faces, new guys. I'm kind of figuring them out as we go."

Lester's next start is scheduled for Wednesday against the Pirates.


Cubs SP Jon Lester not concerned about slow start


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/23/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester is aware his track record in the first month of the season isn't very good, which is why he isn't concerned about another slow start in 2015. The left-hander is 0-2 with a 6.89 ERA through three starts and is 13-15 with a 4.04 ERA in 43 career starts in March/April.

"I think the only good April I've ever had was last year," Lester said, per MLB.com. "I'm usually not a fast starter. Usually I guess it's maybe mid-May, June where you get into that rhythm of every five days and arm strength has built up and it's started to warm up and everything falls into place."

Lester said he is healthy and on schedule after dealing with a dead-arm phase near the end of spring training.

"The biggest thing was pushing the extra start back and getting those pitches," he said. "As far as physically, it didn't alter anything."


Cubs manager Joe Maddon still believes in Jon Lester


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/19/2015) Despite Jon Lester's rough start to his Cubs' career, manager Joe Maddon has not lost faith in the free-agent left hander, per the Chicago Tribune.

Lester suffered the loss to the Padres on Sunday, giving up three earned runs in six innings.

"He's getting better. I think he is getting a little sharper with everything," Maddon said. "He still seemed frustrated on certain pitches today ... [but] I think it was a nice step forward."

Lester (0-2, 6.89 ERA) signed a six-year, $155 million contract with the Cubs during the offseason.


Starter Jon Lester takes loss on Sunday, still winless as a Cub


by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(4/19/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (0-2) gave up three earned runs in six innings to fall to the Padres on Sunday.

The Padres got two of their three runs off Lester in the second inning, courtesy of a two-run homer from Will Middlebrooks.

"For the most part, I did a pretty good job of keeping the ball on the ground and that's important, it means I'm getting action on the pitches I need, getting some mishits, which was good today," Lester said.

Lester struck out four and walked two and threw 97 pitches in the loss.

"He gave us a solid chance to win today. We couldn't get the hit when we needed it," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said to MLB.com.

Lester will try for his first win as a Cub on Friday in Cincinnati.


Cubs' Jon Lester vows to get back on track, start pitching like ace


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/14/2015) Jon Lester is not exactly off to the start the Cubs envisioned when they signed him to a $155 million contract in the offseason and making him their ace.

Lester could still be working his way back from the dead-arm period he experienced late in spring training, but the veteran lefty isn't trying to make any excuses for his poor start to the season.

“Obviously, I haven’t hit my stride yet, but I don’t want to use anything as a crutch,” Lester said after Monday's start against the Reds, per CSNChicago.com. “Things have to be better. When you have (four) guys going out there and doing their jobs, when you’re the loose end of the chain, that’s never good.

“Back to work tomorrow. A lot of things to work on, a lot of things to improve on. And I’ll get back to being the front end of that chain instead of the back end and letting these guys down. It will be better."

Lester added, “Physically, everything’s fine. Absolutely.”


Cubs P Jon Lester allows six runs against Reds


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/13/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester allowed six earned runs during Monday night's 7-6 extra-inning win over the Reds. 

Lester went six innings and allowed 10 hits in the process. He struck out four batters and walked none. This gives Lester nine earned runs over two games, which puts his ERA at a 7.84. 

Lester's next scheduled start is this Sunday against the Padres. 


Cubs' Jon Lester says he has no issues throwing to first base


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/8/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester hasn't thrown to first base with a runner on since April 2013. While he says he is comfortable holding the runner at first base, he said the fact he hasn't done it in a while is "blown out of proportion."

“I really didn’t have to do it over the past year or so,” Lester said Wednesday morning, per ESPN. “Coming over here is a little bit different, more runners, part of the game. Something we’ll implement. This was not a big issue until someone brought it up on television. Now I’m sitting answering questions about it.

"Did it [threw over] in spring, did it all spring. The biggest thing right now is working on something different. Anytime you’re working on something different it takes a while.”

The Cardinals stole three bases off Lester during Sunday's season opener. 

“He’s never been a terrific pick-off guy, but it’s never been something that’s been a concern either," general manager Jed Hoyer said. “He’s never been Andy Pettite. Last year he got away from it. It’s something he needs to work on.”


Cubs pitcher Jon Lester struggles in Opening Day loss


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/5/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester was hoping for better returns in his Opening Day start with the new club. Lester allowed three runs on eight hits in just 4 1/3 innings against the Cardinals. 

The Cardinals tagged Lester early and often. Jason Heyward doubled to right and Matt Holliday knocked him in to start the scoring in the first. Lester allowed another run in the second, before getting tagged for three consecutive hits in the fifth, leading to the third run and the hook.

He added six strikeouts and two walks to his totals and has a 6.23 ERA.

"Not much working tonight," Lester said to ESPN.com. "I left too many balls up in the zone."


Cubs batting Jorge Soler second, Jon Lester eighth Sunday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4/5/2015) The Cubs announced the starting lineup for Sunday's season opener against the Cardinals, with right fielder Jorge Soler slotted into the second spot of the lineup.

Soler spent most of his brief action in 2014 batting fourth or fifth, but he'll slot in between center fielder Dexter Fowler and first baseman Anthony Rizzo Sunday.

The full Cubs lineup Sunday: CF Fowler, RF Soler, 1B Rizzo, SS Starlin Castro, LF Chris Coghlan, 3B Mike Olt, C David Ross, SP Jon Lester, 2B Tommy La Stella.

Ross draws the start at catcher with former Red Sox teammate Lester on the mound. Manager Joe Maddon will bat the pitcher eighth, Olt and La Stella join Rizzo and Castro in the infield for the team's first game, with Arismendy Alcantara set to come off the bench.


Cubs' Maddon: Jon Lester might throw 100-plus pitches in opener


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/1/2015) Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday starting pitcher Jon Lester (arm) might throw 100 or more pitches in the season opener Sunday against the Cardinals, but it depends on the stress level of the outing, per ESPN.

Lester, who has been dealing with arm fatigue since March 20, threw 84 pitches in a minor-league outing Tuesday.


Cubs pitcher Jon Lester throws 84 pitches in minor league game


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Cubs pitcher Jon Lester tossed 84 pitches in a minor league game in Arizona Tuesday, striking out four in the outing.

"I wasn't the sharpest today but got to where we needed to," Lester said. "Once we get into a game with some fans and some adrenaline, I think things will sharpen up a little bit."

Lester, who is dealing with a tired arm, was scratched from his last Cactus League start. He is still on track to start Sunday's season opener against the Cardinals.

"We'll figure it out," Lester said. "In this game, there's always things you have to overcome, and this is part of it. Come Sunday, everything will be fine. We'll go out there and have a game plan."


Cubs' Lester says he has a 'normal day' during minor-league outing


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester threw 54 pitches in a minor-league game Thursday, per MLB.com. Lester gave up one hit and one walk, while striking out three of the 12 batters he faced.

“What I was really watching was him and watching his face and he never seemed like anything bothered him, so I know his arm feels great and that’s all I was worried about,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He felt good and his energy was good (Thursday). … He threw some nice fastballs, nice cutters, yeah, yeah, yeah, but I thought he looked comfortable and that’s the most important thing.”

Thursday was the first time Lester pitched in a game since being scratched last week due to a tired arm. Lester is scheduled to make one more start before the season opener (April 5) against the Cardinals. He is scheduled to throw 75-80 pitches in a minor-league start next week.

“Today was good, today was a normal day,” Lester said. “[I’ll] come back tomorrow and go about work again.”