Cubs' Jon Lester: 100-plus-win season will mean nothing without title


Though nothing has been confirmed, everyone knows Lester will start Game 1 of the NLDS next Friday at Wrigley Field.

Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross hugs manager Joe Maddon in the dugout after Willson Contreras replaced David Ross during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Chicago. The Cubs will host the NL wild-card playoff victor on Friday at Wrigley Field.

Lester did have 20 wins on his mind - "We're all human", he said. - but he was obviously pleased with his season as a whole.

Later in the inning, Zobrist hit another blast to right field off Abel De Los Santos, a two-run shot to put Chicago ahead 7-1.

In the long run, it probably doesn't mean much for a 27 year old who has spent the bulk of his career as a triple-A pitcher, but I can't imagine he'll complain. "I'll take it." The Cubs led the majors with their most victories since 1910.

"Prior to getting him, we were thinking about how to get everybody at-bats", Maddon said. Even so, the Cubs have won eight of 12, finishing one of their best regular seasons with a flourish.

"I don't want to sound like an asshole or anything, but we haven't really done anything yet". "I'll try to look at that but at the same time now we got the real business to get down to". It's not about this. He struck out five in Colorado's first win in four games against Milwaukee this season. Cubbies starter Jon Lester fell to19-5 with five runs allowed on six hits and three BB with Hector Rondon giving two more.

The Cubs won 103* games this season.

Zobrist homered twice and drove in three runs as Chicago improved to 14-3 against Cincinnati this season with two games to play.

The overwhelming majority of the 30,970 fans were wearing Cubs blue and cheering for Lester to get that milestone victory. "You know everybody in that clubhouse wanted to get him his 20 win". Reds pitchers allowed 258 homers overall, shattering the previous mark.

For now, though, Ross just wants to deliver Cubs' fans their first World Series title in 108 years. "It was sweet to get the win today". The left-hander will try to change that when he and the visiting Chicago Cubs take on the Cincinnati Reds in the penultimate game of the regular season Saturday.

"This will go down as one of the better, if not best years of my career", Lester said.

Without being too technical, if Hendricks is to pitch five innings, he can allow one run and still finish below a 2.00 ERA.

Lester's rough Saturday snapped a string of 11 straight quality starts. BP Wrigleyville will have comprehensive coverage of the series, and the whole of the Cubs' playoff run, right here, replete with game previews, recaps, and State of the Series updates. The Cubs loaded the bases on a pair of singles from Miguel Montero and Tommy La Stella and then a walk to Dexter Fowler.

Cincinnati (68-93) is 36-36 since the All-Star break, marking the second-best improvement in winning percentage from the first half of the season to the second. Reds 2B Brandon Phillips remains sidelined with a deep bone bruise in his left hand. Lester, being the good teammate that he is, said he didn't expect anything and that the team would be fine with any of the five starters Friday.

Hendricks lowered his ERA to 1.99 with six scoreless innings on Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.

Reds: Robert Stephenson (2-3) makes his sixth start since he was promoted in September. "That four-run inning gave them the separation they needed".



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