The Jon Lester Pick-Off Issue Rears its Head Again and Other Bullets

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The Jon Lester Pick-Off Issue Rears its Head Again and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

jon lester cubsThe Wife and I are taking The Little Girl to a water park today as a special surprise (sorry to The Little Boy if he ever reads this in the future and wonders why he was left out – you were really little, dude), so I’ll be out of pocket for a while. Posting will be normal, though, with quite a bit coming in advance of today’s game against the White Sox.

Also: my bathing suit doesn’t tie super well. Should I still try one of those giant slides and just see what happens? I’ll report back on the nuts and bolts of our visit.

  • So, Jon Lester was excellent yesterday, but he tried a pick-off throw for the first time since April, and, like back then, he threw it away. It was a really discouraging outcome given how quiet that whole discussion had been for months, and it’s now going to bring his troubles back into focus, not only for fans/media, but for opposing teams. The Brewers immediately wound up stealing four bases in that inning. David Ross can do only so much, and, while the impact of the running game against Lester has always been overstated, it’s not a nothing. As the games get more and more important, the issue will become magnified. Bare minimum hope remains that Lester will not let it affect his pitching. So far, so very good on that front.
  • After the game, Lester noted his troubles in the pick-off arena, but quipped that this throwaway was at least better than his last one (ESPN). You can watch the throw here, and, indeed, it was way better than the last one … but still really bad. The bright side is that, if the throw had been remotely close, Lester would have picked off Segura by a mile. So maybe this is all just setting up for a critical late-season or playoff pick-off.
  • With the great start, Lester raised his WAR to 3.5 on the year – 14th best in baseball. He’s still very, very good.
  • Teammates and managerial thoughts on Kyle Schwarber (ESPN), who hit two homers yesterday as part of the Cubs’ homer party.
  • Totally random: Liam Hendriks was a Cub for 10 days in December 2013 (and I was pretty happy about it), dropped in favor of Brett Marshall (I am not smart, though, because I was even happier about that). A reminder that scrapheap pickups sometimes do become something very useful (I shouldn’t have to remind folks of that given the presence of many quality players on this Cubs team), Hendriks eventually made his way to Toronto, where he was converted to a reliever, and is now dominating.
  • Totally random follow-up: the Cubs lost Marshall a couple months later when they needed a spot for Jason Hammel (the first time around), who, as we all know, was later bundled in a deal for Addison Russell and Billy McKinney. AND ARE YOU SAYING YOU’D RATHER HAVE HENDRIKS THAN RUSSELL AND MCKINNEY!?!?
  • I mentioned this in the Series Preview and tweeted it, but it’s so amazing that it bears inclusion here, too:

  • Great shots from the game yesterday:

  • This is pretty remarkable (h/t to someone in the comments yesterday, but I missed the name – sorry, I still heart you, whoever you are):

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.