Jon Lester is one of the best pitchers in MLB postseason history, and that extends into the World Series, where entering Tuesday’s Game 1 against the Cleveland he was 3-0 for his career, having allowed just one earned run in 21 innings pitched.
All of that changed pretty quickly.
The Chicago Cubs’ ace allowed two earned runs in the first inning Tuesday night, and he did so in an uncharacteristic way. With two outs in the first, Lester allowed a base hit to Francisco Lindor and then walked back-to-back batters in Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana. Then, with the bases loaded, he gave up an infield single to Jose Ramirez and followed that by hitting Brandon Guyer.
Three innings later, Lester allowed a solo home run to Indians catcher Roberto Perez. It was the hardest-hit ball off Lester all season.
Lester didn’t even manage to finish the sixth inning before Cubs manager Joe Maddon pulled him. The 32-year-old wasn’t bad, either — he just wasn’t his normally dominant self.
His final line: three earned runs on six hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings pitched.
And if you thought you were surprised at the Indians managing to score on Lester, you weren’t the only one.
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