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Watch: Jon Lester picks off a runner for the first time since 2015

St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 03: Starting pitcher Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the ball against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on June 3, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Call it the yips, call it nerves, a mental block or control issues. One thing is clear: When Cubs’ left-hander Jon Lester isn’t throwing at the strike zone, he looks completely lost. Routine plays to first base often end up missing their mark, and when it comes to pickoff attempts -- well, he gave those up a while ago.

Saturday was different. With two outs in the fifth inning, Lester walked the Cardinals’ Tommy Pham and had started pitching to Stephen Piscotty when Pham took a generous lead off the bag. There was no stealth in Lester’s game -- he turned slowly and lobbed the ball at Anthony Rizzo, who caught Pham off the base -- but after two years without successfully executing a single pickoff throw, maybe he didn’t need it.

According to’s Carrie Muskat, it was Lester’s first pickoff move since September 2015, and just the 27th of his 12-year career. Watch the full play unfold below:

[mlbvideo id="1459525283" width="600" height="336" /]

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