Jon Lester Answers Bell For Cubs

Lester earned the win with 6 2/3 strong innings against the Brewers on Sunday.

Bruce Levine
May 12, 2019 - 10:48 pm
Cubs left-hander Jon Lester

Matt Marton/USA Today Sports

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CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- Cubs left-hander Jon Lester knew he had to push himself to the limit Sunday evening.

After the Cubs outlasted the Brewers in a 15-inning game Saturday in which they used every reliever they had, Lester understood that going deep into the contest was his charge. He did just that in the Cubs' 4-1 win against the Brewers at Wrigley Field, going 6 2/3 innings and allowing just one run, unearned, on nine hits and a walk while striking out six. Lester threw a season-high 116 pitches while dropping his ERA to 1.16.

"I have the same mindset every time I go out there," Lester said. "When my day comes, I want to finish the game. That doesn't always happen, but I was able to get us into the seventh inning -- would like to finish the seventh. I did try to save them (bullpen) the best I could. We all watched the game the day before, so I knew what we needed to do. Just tried to get as many early outs as I could. I was able to to do that for the most part."

Lester ran into trouble in throwing 39 pitches in the fourth inning, when the Brewers scored their lone run with the help of left fielder Kyle Schwarber's error, but he otherwise kept Milwaukee under control all evening.

"He kept battling through the little bounces and an error," manager Joe Maddon said. "He really slowed the game down as well as you possibly can. He was at 116. We needed all of that."

Lester's 116 pitches were his most since last June. He has been dominant of late, not allowing an earned run in any of his past three starts. He has a 0.46 ERA in four starts at Wrigley Field this season.

"When your in the game, the pitch count doesn't matter,: Lester said. "You are in the game. You are in the moment. Adrenaline and everything else just kind of take over. I think with conditions like tonight, it is hard to get up and down seven times. You are hot, cold and everything in between. So I kind of tried to pride myself on those 90 to 110 pitches. I feel I execute best in those pitch counts. Tonight was that case for the most part, except my last two hitters. It's nice to be able to do that."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.