Lester during his tenure with the Cubs more than justified the investment in his services. In those six seasons with the Cubs, Lester went 77-44 with a 3.64 ERA (his exact ERA in his nine seasons with the Red Sox) and a 3.22 K / BB ratio. He also racked up 12.9 WARs with the Cubs, finished twice in the top 10 of the NL Cy Young poll and was the author of 2.44 ERAs in 10 playoff starts and two relief appearances for Chicago. .
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Along the way, he won the 2016 NLCS MVP award. Considering Lester’s excellence during these 2016 playoffs, it’s no exaggeration to say that the Cubs are unlikely to win the World Series without him. All of this, plus his generosity with beer, has made him a legend on the North Side of Chicago, and it is very likely that he will receive a warm welcome from Wrigley fans when he takes the mound in front of ‘Adbert Alzolay.
Lester’s former teammates dressed for the occasion:
“I knew as soon as I signed up and saw the schedule,” Lester said on a recent Zoom call with reporters from the Nationals and Cubs. “You pick some road trips that are always fun, and that’s obviously the one that stood out for me, for a lot of reasons. “
As for his former drummer and manager, David Ross, he hopes for a reception worthy of Lester’s place in Cubs history.
“I hope the fans give him the welcome he deserves,” Ross said recently. “He means a lot to me. He means a lot to this organization. He’s done a lot for (so many) guys at this clubhouse. The fans recognize it. The nation of Cubs that I know will be very grateful and give him the love that he needs. I don’t care if it’s 20,000 or 20% [capacity]. I wish this place was packed for him, [so he could] feel the love that many people have for him. “
After the Cubs failed to make a serious offer for his services over the winter, Lester ended up signing a one-year, $ 5 million contract with the Nats. In three starts this season, he’s put together a 2.25 ERA with 10 strikeouts and seven goals in 16 innings. Nationals (16-20) and Cubs (19-20) enter the week in fourth place in their respective divisions.