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Cubs lefty Jon Lester NL Pitcher of the Month for June



Jon Lester throwing in bullpen 2016 photo By Arturo Pardavila III from Hoboken, NJ, USA - Photo of the Day Project, Oct. 27, 2017, CC BY 2.0, https

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester has been voted National League Pitcher of the Month for his efforts in June.

Lester compiled a perfect 5-0 record with a 1.13 ERA and 20 strikeouts over five starts to earn his sixth career Pitcher of the Month Award, last winning in September 2016. Jon permitted 17 hits, two home runs and 10 free passes across 32.0 innings pitched. Among qualified NL starting pitchers, the left-handed veteran finished tied for first in wins and ERA, and allowed the second-fewest hits. This is Chicago’s first NL Pitcher of the Month Award since Jon’s former rotation-mate Jake Arrieta, who earned monthly honors last August.

Over the course of his dominant month, Lester tossed three scoreless outings while pitching at least 7.0 innings (June 3rd at New York Mets; June 9th vs. Pittsburgh Pirates; June 20th vs. Los Angeles Dodgers). With three such outings coming within the Cubs’ first 75 games of the 2018 season, the four-time All-Star is the first Cubs hurler since Arrieta during his 2016 All-Star campaign to accomplish the feat. Following his victory against the aforementioned Dodgers on June 20th, the Tacoma, Washington native became the first Cubs pitcher to post at least 6.0 innings in seven consecutive outings (May 18th-June 20th) since his rotation-mate Kyle Hendricks did so over a stretch of nine games last season from August 15th-September 23rd. Lester, who earned the win in each of his five starts in June, became the first pitcher in Cubs history, and the fifth in Major League history, to compile a 1.13 ERA-or-lower, five wins and no more than 17 hits allowed across a minimum of 32.0 innings of work in a single calendar month, joining Justin Verlander (September 2017), Matt Moore (April 2013), Doug Fister (September 2011) and Mike Witt (August 1986).

Starting pitcher Zach Eflin (5-0, 1.76 ERA, 30.2 IP, 28 SO) of the Philadelphia Phillies also posted a strong month on the mound. Over the course of his impressive period, the 24-year-old won each of his five starts without allowing more than two earned runs or two walks in any outing. Eflin, the 33rd overall selection by San Diego in the 2012 MLB Draft, became the first Phillies hurler to win five starts in one month since Cole Hamels in May 2012. Others receiving votes for NL Pitcher of the Month included Mike Foltynewicz (1-1, 1.13 ERA, 24.0 IP, 29 SO) of the Atlanta Braves; All-Star Zack Greinke (5-1, 2.97 ERA, 36.1 IP, 36 SO) of the Arizona Diamondbacks; and AllStar Jacob deGrom (6 G, 2.36 ERA, 42.0 IP, 49 SO) of the New York Mets.

In recognition of his Pitcher of the Month Awards, Jon Lester will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for his accomplishment.

Read more: MLB