Top 5 moments from Lester's career
Jon Lester is retiring from baseball after a brilliant 16-year run. The veteran left-hander ends his career with five All-Star nods, 200 wins, 2,488 strikeouts, a no-hitter, and three championships. Only one pitcher recorded more wins than Lester and only two lefties had a better fWAR between 2008 and 2018.
Here are the top five moments from Lester's career.
5. 2,000th strikeout, 1st HR
Lester had a night to remember on Aug. 1, 2017. He recorded his 2,000th strikeout in a start against the Arizona Diamondbacks and became just the 25th southpaw in MLB history to accomplish the feat:
He also went deep in the same game for his first career home run:
4. No-hitter vs. Royals
The then-24-year-old threw the 18th no-hitter in Boston Red Sox history in a legendary performance against the Kansas City Royals on May 19, 2008. He struck out nine and walked two on 130 pitches:
3. 2016 co-NLCS MVP
Lester gained a reputation as a terrific postseason hurler. He posted a 2.51 ERA and 3.50 FIP over 154 innings in the playoffs. The pitcher helped the Chicago Cubs reach the World Series in 2016 with a dominant performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. He allowed just two earned runs over two starts (13 innings) en route to capturing co-NLCS MVP honors with teammate Javy Baez.
2. Return from cancer
Lester made a dramatic return to the mound on July 23, 2007, after coming back from lymphoma, which required offseason chemotherapy. The then-23-year-old threw six innings for the Red Sox, striking out six and allowing two runs on 96 pitches in his first start since his rookie season was cut short in August 2006.
1. 3 championships
The 38-year-old suited up for the Red Sox and Cubs for a combined 15 years, winning three titles between the two storied franchises. Lester was a member of the 2007 and 2013 World Series champions in Boston.
The Cubs signed him to a six-year, $155-million deal in December 2014. He played an integral role in Chicago's curse-breaking title in 2016, the club's first World Series championship since 1908.