Jon Lester probably expected to be in the playoffs this season, but he likely figured it would be with the Boston Red Sox.
However, Boston’s miserable season paired with the fact that Lester will be a free agent this season led the team to ship the left-hander to the Oakland Athletics. Lester is a big reason the A’s reached the playoffs, and he’ll get the start Tuesday in Oakland’s one-game wild card playoff game against the Kansas City Royals.
Lester is more than ready to get back to postseason work.
“Champagne showers never get old, but now its back to business!” he tweeted Monday morning. “Can’t wait to take the ball tomorrow! This why I’m here!”
The A’s actually struggled as a team after acquiring Lester in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes at the trade deadline. Oakland finished the season with just a 22-28 record in August and September. That rough stretch cost the A’s an American League West title, which is why they must play for their lives in a one-game playoff Tuesday.
However, those issues are far from being Lester’s fault. The 30-year-oldÂ made 11 starts with Oakland and posted a 6-4 record. He didn’t get a whole lot of run support, but he was able to post a 2.35 ERA and struck out 71 batters in 76 2/3 innings of work.
The A’s have to feel good about handing the ball to Lester for the do-or-die affair in Kansas City. He’s coming off one of the best postseason performances in Red Sox history during the club’s 2013 postseason run. Lester went 4-1 in five starts last October, posting a 1.56 ERA with 29 strikeouts. He also owns a 2.11 career ERA in 76 2/3 postseason innings.
Lester went a combined 3-0 in three starts against the Royals this season with the Red Sox and A’s.