Today, Jon Lester turns 34, and looks ahead to his fourth season with the Chicago Cubs. It’s been a fantastic run for him so far, posting a 3.33 ERA over 588.1 innings, and totaling 12.0 WAR. He’s led the Cubs to three straight NLCS appearances, won NLCS MVP honors in 2016, and pitched some critical innings in the most important Game Seven in baseball history.
But today, on his birthday, I want to celebrate the fun stuff Lester has done aside from pitching fantastically, because it’s fun.
Happy birthday to Jon Lester, the greatest walk-off bunter in baseball history! pic.twitter.com/DBVyMDTJwN
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) January 7, 2018
The wildest regular season game during this current Cubs run, although they were down 6-0 through three innings started famously by Brian Matusz, the Cubs came back, tying the Mariners in the 9th inning (on a wild pitch by now-Cubs reliever Steve Cishek), and then walking it off on that pinch-hit Jon Lester bunt in the 12th inning. I was in the bleachers for that game, and it was all kinds of amazing.
And, of course, we gotta love on the pick-off:
Remember that time Tim McCarver said there was no way Jon Lester was going to throw over to first, and Tommy Pham believed it? pic.twitter.com/v2vWbLhrps
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) December 22, 2017
Perfect in so many ways.
The Cubs also shared Lester’s first career hit today, ending a record-breaking streak (and off the leg of former and future teammate, John Lackey):
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) January 7, 2018
And Lester’s first career home run, which came this past August in the route of the Diamondbacks:
Believe it or not, Jon Lester has hit a home run. #Cubs
Here's proof. pic.twitter.com/R6btAhn321
— Today in MLB (@TodayintheMLB) August 2, 2017