Some good news first:
The Cubs won in extra-innings on the back of a Javy Baez bases loaded 2-out, 2-strike double. That's the good news. The Cubs are rolling hard and looking at the 2nd seed in the NL. They swept the Indians on the season 4-0. Javy looks good in the 6-hole. The bullpen continues to absolutely dominate despite a lot of bitching and complaining from yours truly across the entire season. All intents and purposes/intensive purposes we're doing just fine.
So good that even Jon Lester's gotten his shit together big time last couple starts out. Especially after getting curb stomped by the White Sox at the end of August. That was pretty fucking ugly and it made me question his 2021 option for the first time in 6 years. No one can blame me or disagree.
Then he hits the podium tonight after 5 good innings and a team W and this is where we introduce the bad news. Jon Lester is SAD
Pretty mild at first because you think he's just being dramatic. Any good professional athlete in a contract year knows some decent tactics. His last start would mean the front office spends $10M this offseason to send him packing vs. $25M to bring him home. Either way I will never personally feel bad for Jon Lester and his gigantic fucking bags of cash.
As a fan though, you want to see your guys go out on top. So here's the next tweet:
If you watched Lester talk, you saw how hard it was for him to articulate his thoughts. Don't fret, I've got him covered.
From the sounds of it, Lester needed 75 innings this year to have his 2021 option automatically kick in. He started the year with 23 innings in 4 starts. Not exactly on pace but not far behind. But after some really bad outings, it looked like he needed basically 3 complete games in a row to get crack at 75. Tonight's 5 inning performance thus makes it impossible to get to 75 innings.
Part of me says Lester is very salty with himself as ridiculous as that may seem to everyone but Jon Lester. Just the way that guy is.
The other thing is he may sincerely think Theo will let him walk next year. He actually sounded like a guy who knows he couldn't do 33 starts next year. Sounds like a guy who knows this is all he's got left. We'll call that the lowest end of the Jon Lester spectrum here and it absolutely fucking B L O W S.
Legitimately, I love this man. 6 years came and went like you wouldn't believe. And proudly that includes 3 championship series and 1 world series. He still has a guaranteed October to add to that resume. But without question, hesitation, or another game played, we can all say Jon Lester has earned every penny of his contract. Not even a question.