Jon Lester's Bounce-Back Season, Avoiding the Wild Card Game, Rally Rat, and Other Bullets

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Jon Lester’s Bounce-Back Season, Avoiding the Wild Card Game, Rally Rat, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Social Media Night was awesome once again – thanks to everyone I saw and met for the great chats, the good beer, and the very good baseball.

  • Jon Lester was more or less at 50 pitches through two innings last night, managing to keep the Pirates off the board if not off the bases. And then somehow he still completed six scoreless innings. It has been an incredible, bounce-back year for Lester, who defied his peripherals all season to get better results that it seemed he deserved (but I suspect he *DID* deserve them), and finishes the season with a 3.32 ERA, currently the 20th best mark in all of baseball. If the Cubs play in the Wild Card Game, it’ll be Lester getting the ball to start.
  • Not that anyone wants to play in the Wild Card Game. From Lester ( “We’ve made the playoffs, and nobody in the clubhouse is satisfied with that. I don’t think that’s an arrogance – we all expect to win the division. That’s not a knock on the other teams in our division. We feel that’s one of our goals. Hopefully, that comes to fruition this weekend, and we’ll celebrate then.”
  • As Kyle Schwarber put it in the same piece: “The Wild Card Game can maybe take a couple years off your life. It’s an exciting game and a very good game for the game of baseball, but to actually be in it, it’s very high stress. We’d definitely rather be in the [Division Series] right away.”
  • The Cubs infield celebrated the win with a selfie on Social Media Night. Appropriate. Even if they didn’t have a camera, they made it work:
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • Very glad it didn’t end up mattering, but the Cubs put the first FIVE batters who came to the plate in the 4th inning on base, and they managed … one run. A caught stealing and a bad send at third base cost the Cubs a lot of runs. Like I said, it didn’t wind up mattering, but it was kinda ugly nonetheless.
  • Jon Lester, who singled that inning, was the guy who scored the lone run on a Daniel Murphy single. I actually love how thoughtfully and in control Lester appears to be running on this play – bonus points for carrying your gloves in your hand:

  • How about Anthony Rizzo helping out Carl Edwards Jr. when he was losing himself again:

  • The real reason the Cubs won last night – David Bote’s triple came in the Cubs’ first half inning after this:

  • Enjoy that Bote triple, while we’re at it:

  • John Lackey was in the house last night. Cheers:

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.