Jon Lester Finally Attempts Pickoff, Throws Ball Into Outfield (Video)

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April 14, 2015

The questions about Jon Lester’s ability to throw to bases aren’t going away any time soon, especially after Monday night.

The Chicago Cubs ace’s issues with throwing to bases either after fielding his position or attempting pickoff plays have been extensively documented. It was a focal point of ESPN’s opening night broadcast, and The Boston Globe’s baseball notes column Sunday led with Lester’s “yips.”

Manager Joe Maddon told the Globe’s Nick Cafardo he wasn’t concerned with those perceived issues, but Maddon might be rethinking that now, no matter what he publicly states.

Lester finally attempted a pickoff throw — his first in two years — Monday night against the Cincinnati Reds. Things started out OK, but Lester eventually airmailed a throw to first, which could have been costly had it not been for right fielder Jorge Soler.

[mlbvideo id=”72546383″ width=”640″ height=”360″ /]

“When you’re not used to doing stuff like that, I got a little overexcited and threw the ball too soon,” Lester told reporters, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Once again, (Soler) picks me up.”

That wasn’t the only way Soler bailed out Lester. The pickoff throws were only half the battle, as Lester struggled again on the mound. He was tagged for six runs on 10 hits over six innings and now has a 7.84 ERA through two starts. He was on the hook for his second loss of the season, but Soler hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning to tie the game before the Cubs eventually won it in the bottom of the 10th.

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