Jon Lester was cruising through two innings Monday afternoon, holding the Pirates off the board with four strikeouts and just one walk. He even helped his own cause yet again, doubling in the bottom of the 2nd to plate the Cubs’ first run. Lester scored on an ensuing Ben Zobrist single, but his time on the bases may have cost him.
After allowing a pair of singles to open the 3rd inning, Lester was examined by trainers and then walked off the mound without assistance. He went back to the clubhouse and eventually returned to the dugout, and the Cubs are saying it’s a case of left hamstring tightness. The lefty had to slide into both second and home, so the extra effort could have tweaked something.
Though there’s been nothing official about the plan moving forward, it appears at least for the moment that everything was precautionary. But if Lester is going to continue to be an on-base machine, he’d better spend a little more time getting limbered up before starts. And pinch-hit appearances.
Update: Lester will have an MRI Tuesday to determine severity of the injury. He said it was just discomfort, like a cramp, but there’s no reason to risk it. Joe Maddon is planning as though Lester will miss his start, but the lefty ace is proceeding as though he’ll be ready to go when the Angels come to Wrigley later in the week.