Jon Lester Named NL Pitcher of the Month, Javy Baez NL Player of the Week
In what should come as a surprise to no one who’s watched him over the last month, Jon Lester has been named NL Pitcher of the Month for June. Lester went 5-0 in five starts last month, posting a 1.13 ERA on a total of only 17 hits and 10 walks against 20 strikeouts.
The 34-year-old lefty displayed a different style of pitching, as he has been more willing to pitch to contact when necessary. He seems content to set the cruise control once he gets the lead in a game, opting for efficiency by letting his defense do the work behind him.
In total, the Cubs have won the last seven games Lester has started, which is more important than any of the stats he puts up. Part of the reason Lester has been so successful is the play of Javy Baez, both at the plate and in the field.
Javy has already set a career high and is tied for fourth in the NL with 2.9 fWAR and he has been white-hot of late. His June production was some of the best of his career, but the last week of the month was just otherworldly. And somehow, a .464/.448/.857 slash and 245 wRC+ over 29 plate appearances doesn’t seem to do him justice.
With Kris Bryant out, Baez has really stepped up, playing all over the field and creating runs with his bat and legs. Dude is firmly in the conversation for NL MVP at this point, and there’s reason to believe he’ll still be there in three months.