Washington Nationals: Jon Lester says move over Livan Hernandez
Livan Hernandez won a World Series MVP. Jon Lester has won three World Series rings. Livan Hernandez hit ten career home runs, five of which came while wearing a Montreal Expos or Washington Nationals jersey. Jon Lester now has four career home runs, and after his first in a Nationals jersey, he surpassed Hernandez as the eldest pitcher to hit a home run wearing the DC colors.
Livo was 35 when he last homered for the Nationals. The 37 year old Lester, who has now homered in four straight seasons (excluding 2020 when there was a universal designated hitter), needed just 28 at-bats in a Nats uniform to take the honor away from Hernandez.
Lester entered the game with a lifetime batting average of .108, though that didn’t stop him from racking up a 2-3 night with the stick, including a mammoth 419 foot ding-dong to deep right-centerfield.
While the Nationals appreciated the hitting exploits from Lester, the seven shutout innings he pitched was definitely the best part of the night for the left-hander.
Jon Lester is now the oldest pitcher in Washington Nationals history to hit a home run.
The oldest pitcher to homer in a game prior to Lester in all of baseball was Bartolo Colon, when the then 42-year old Big Sexy somehow put wood on the ball and sent it skyward.
With rumors the designated hitter will make its way to the National League next year, this may be a feat Lester has locked up for the Washington Nationals organization.
We keep tally of how many home runs Kyle Schwarber has hit during Jon Lester starts, though with Schwarbs on the Injured List Lester decided to take things into his own hands.
Lester helped himself with the bat, no doubt. He finished the day with two hits, two runs scored, and two runs batted in. However, his pitching exploits are what the Nationals faithful are going to be talking about tomorrow morning around the water cooler.
After a weekend where the Nationals bullpen was battered and bruised by the San Diego Padres, Lester was able to eat seven innings allowing just six hits. He struck out a season high seven (passing Jamie Moyer for 46th on all-time strikeout list) while scattering six hits and not issuing a free pass.
This was by far Lester’s best start in a Nationals uniform and couldn’t have come at a better time. Just as Juan Soto’s bat heats up following the All-Star break, the Nationals need some quality pitching to put a few games in the win column. They got both a hot bat and keen pitching performance from Jon Lester on this night.