Jon Lester has had plenty of good starts in his career. Tuesday’s against the A’s was not one of them.
The veteran lefty gave up 11 runs, which matched his career high, over four innings. The Cubs lost 11-4.
As ever, Lester didn’t sugarcoat anything.
“What happened is I gave up 11 runs,” Lester said. “It doesn’t matter how I feel. It doesn’t matter about a game plan. It doesn’t matter about executing pitches. It doesn’t matter about anything. I gave up 11 runs.”
Lester endured an ugly second inning. Mark Canha led off with a triple and then he struck out Chad Pinder. The next eight A’s reached, including a three-run home run by Dustin Garneau in the middle of that. The A’s put up eight runs in that inning.
With the game out of hand, Lester stayed on the mound to save the bullpen as much as possible. In the fourth he gave up a three-run blast to Stephen Piscotty.
The 35-year-old’s ERA jumped to 4.46 with that effort.
“Jon’s been there before,” manager Joe Maddon said. “This is a waste can kind of a night. You just dump it and move on.”
Lester gave up five runs on nine hits in his last start in St. Louis, but said he felt he pitched well and gave up weak contact. He said Tuesday’s start was different from that.
“I’m pretty much the weakest link in the rotation right now,” Lester said. “I gotta figure out a way to right that ship, pick my end up and do better.
“Our rotation has pitched well except for me, you look at the last two games. So, flat out do better.”
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