Jon Lester threw to first base after 66 straight starts without a pickoff attempt and it went … well?
Though it may never garner as much attention as, say, Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hit streak, Orel Hershiser's 59 consecutive innings scoreless streak or Aroldis Chapman's 18 pastries, there was another big streak going on in baseball: Jon Lester's lack-of-a-pickoff-throw streak.
Over Lester's last 66 appearances, dating back to April 30, 2013, the left-hander had not made a pickoff attempt at first base. Rarely did it come back to bite Lester though, with players only going 25-for-34 in steals against the left-hander. That success rate is only half a percentage point higher than the league average success rate in 2014.
But after the Cardinals were 3-for-4 in stolen base attempts in his Cubs debut, Lester knew he'd have to throw over when facing the Reds on Monday night.
After making his first toss over in the second inning, Lester seemingly threw his next one away. Cue the internet snickers.
Except that the pitcher had a plan. Like a complex hidden ball trick meets Paul Newman in "The Hustler," Lester played the angles just right.
See, it was really just a pass to Jorge Soler so the right fielder could throw Zack Cozart out at third. That's just inventive baseball.