NS. LOUIS – Jon Lester was taken over by the Cardinals in hopes that his veteran presence and track record would once again move up well, eat innings and offer a steady hand as the club made its final push towards a high bid for the postseason and end of the season Year makes the season.
Shortly after the 6-1 opening defeat against the Braves at the Busch Stadium on Tuesday, it seemed like a hopeful wish; Lester allowed the first seven batters he faced to hit base, four runs before an out was recorded, and 31 pitches to stay on his ledger before his first official cardinal frame was over.
But he settled in, and it only took 57 pitches for his next four frames – really, just a hanging curveball for Freddie Freeman in the second – to do what he set out to do: eat innings (five of them).
So call it mixed results on its first day in its new digs.
Most confusing, it took Lester 88 pitches to survive five innings of six runs. That was one pitch less than Braves starter Max Fried took through his own five shutout innings before fading the Cardinals one inning more to nine pitches.