Guest Post: Alex Walsh analyzes Jon Lester's 3rd start and sees improvement
Editor’s Note: Alex Walsh has written in the past for Fangraphs, MLB Trade Rumors and the great, late Goat Riders of the Apocalypse as well as a few guest posts here at Cubs Den. You can follow him on Twitter at @ajwalsh08 Alex wrote about Jon Lester after his first sub par start, two starts later we are still asking ourselves when we’ll see the real Lester. Alex believes he’s getting there…
Jon Lester, pt. 3: I’ve got to admit, he’s getting better
At least, I think he is. Here is the case for that argument. Thanks to Brooks Baseball for all of this information!
1. Velocity is increasing
This one is pretty straightforward. He averaged 93.5 on the fastball yesterday, up a full mph from his two prior starts.
2. He’s more deceptive
In his first two regular season starts, teams swung at nearly everything Lester threw in the strike zone, and laid off nearly everything outside of it. In his third start, that trend reversed somewhat.
3. His command is better
He allowed six hits, and although I can only see 5 teal squares in the graphic below, 3 of those are right on the edge of the zone — I think that makes them good pitches, although honestly I’m not 100% sure, but it makes sense.
— Alex Walsh