Jon Lester was on a heck of a run since coming off the IL in late April, but it came to a screeching halt on Saturday.
Lester had by far his worst start of the season at the Nationals in a 5-2 Cubs loss. He labored through his start, giving up five runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Lester gave up 10 hits, which matches the most he has given up since joining the Cubs. He gave up a fair number of hits in his last two starts, but was able to avoid trouble on the scoreboard. Lester gave up nine hits in 6 2/3 innings against the Brewers last time out, but only gave up an unearned run. On May 7, Lester gave up eight hits to the Marlins, but only allowed two unearned runs in six innings of work.
This time, Lester couldn’t stay out of trouble. Brian Dozier got the Nats on the board with a solo shot in the second and then the wheels came off in the third.
To open the third inning Lester gave up six straight hits. The Nats got three runs that inning and then added another in the fifth, when Lester departed the game.
Since Lester came off the IL on April 25, he had allowed just one earned run (four runs in total) in 24 2/3 innings. During that stretch, he had 25 strikeouts against just two walks. His ERA fell to 1.16, which would have led all of baseball if he had enough innings to qualify. It’s at 2.09 after Saturday’s loss.