Jon Lester was in the Cy Young conversation earlier this year with a strong first half. Through his first 19 starts, he had a 2.58 ERA, 1.191 WHIP, and 12-2 record. He was named an NL All-Star thanks to his strong start.
However, Lester has not been the same pitcher in the second half. In eight starts since the All-Star Break, Lester’s ERA has ballooned to 6.69 with a 1.686 WHIP while walking 3.37 batters per nine innings. He has a meager 2-3 record in this time. Lester has been better in his last three starts, giving up just four runs in 17.2 innings while striking out 14 batters.
Lester didn’t face the Phillies when the two teams played earlier this season. In nine starts against them during his career, Lester has a 7-0 record, 1.64 ERA, 0.978 WHIP, and just three home runs allowed in 60.1 innings. The last time he faced them on May 2, 2017, he allowed three runs on five walks and four hits in five innings, but he still pulled out the win as the Cubs lit up Jeremy Hellickson for six runs.
Lester will start Sunday, facing off against Aaron Nola. Lester will need to bring his best stuff if he has any chance of outdueling Nola, which he hasn’t had since the All-Star Break for the most part.