(670 The Score) Cubs left-hander Jon Lester made what was possibly his last start at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night, which left him emotional in the aftermath as he reflected on a place that’s meant so much to him.
It also left his teammates in a pensive mood.
“It was an emotional day for a lot of us, I think,” Cubs outfielder Ian Happ said on the Dan Bernstein Show on Thursday morning.
“I wasn’t there from the very beginning and I wasn’t there for the culture change (in 2015), but I’ve been a part of the winning culture that he helped bring over, that he helped put in place. He’s been absolutely wonderful to me and being on the field with him and behind him for yesterday was really, really special for me personally and definitely a really emotional day.”
Lester won’t pitch as the Cubs host the Twins for three games beginning Friday in what’s their last home series of the regular season. Past that, the Cubs are in line to host a best-of-three series at Wrigley Field in the wild-card round to open the playoffs, but right-hander Yu Darvish and right-hander Kyle Hendricks are projected to pitch in some order in the first two games. After the wild-card round, all playoff games will be held at neutral sites.
No matter what Lester’s role and opportunity is for the rest of 2020, Happ will cherish playing with him and what he has already learned from him.
“Just watching him grind through his starts, figure out ways to get guys out, he’s so intelligent on the mound,” Happ said. “He knows exactly what he’s trying to do. Yesterday was a day the wind is blowing in at Wrigley Field, and he’s not afraid to let guys hit it in the air. He just goes out there with no fear every day. I think he’s a Hall of Famer. I think that anybody who goes out and has had the success that he’s had in the divisions that he’s pitched in and also had 30 starts for, I think, something like 10 years in a row, I think that’s really impressive … You can trust him to go out there every fifth day no matter what.”