I know that's a dramatic title but please understand this is a top 5 regular season Cubs' game All Time. And I swear nearly every single diehard can tell you where they watched this Sunday night game. Even though it was completely meaningless against a completely meaningless 2016 Mariners team. The Cubs were coming slow out of the 2016 All Star break and wrapping up a 12-14 July in the same year they won 103 games. In August they went 22-6. A lot of experts say this was the game that propelled that historic month.
Anyways it's pretty easy to remember Jon Lester for winning World Series championships and fucking up opposing lineups with mid-90's cut fastballs. But it's more rewarding to recognize the kind of progress he made offensively. Significantly more rewarding because it's more indicative of his competitiveness. He had a -51 OPS+ in 71 plate appearances in 2015. That basically means he's 101% worse than league average. Some of you reading this are better than 101% worse than league average.
Last year his OPS+ was 45. He had a .556 OPS with 3 extra base hits in 53 PA's. Kris Bryant has a .609 OPS and a 8 extra base hits in 102 PA's this year just for some meaty context. In other words a very shitty Kris Bryant isn't much better than the kind of hitter Jon Lester turned himself into. *golf clap*
Another things I love about that Mariners game is obviously Travis Wood. This is not a Travis Wood blog but you don't show that highlight without giving him some love. So this is me doing it. I love Travis Wood.
Anyways, Lester has 3 career homers. All at Wrigley Field. Eat your fucking heart out: