Jon Lester on cusp of record for most plate appearances without first base hit

SHARE Jon Lester on cusp of record for most plate appearances without first base hit
SHARE Jon Lester on cusp of record for most plate appearances without first base hit

Cubs pitcher Jon Lester averaged only 4.7 plate appearances per season during his nine years in the American League.

The left-hander never collected a hit during that time, and he has yet to contribute a hit during his first two months with the National League Cubs.

So now, with 64 hitless plate appearances on his resume, Lester is just two shy of the record for most plate appearances without a hit to start a career, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Lester is set to pitch (and hit) against the Nationals on Wednesday, meaning he could tie or break the record today.

Padres pitcher Joey Hamilton is the current record-holder after going 66 plate appearances without his first hit from May 24, 1994 through June 3, 1995. Lester began his streak nearly a decade ago on June 16, 2006.

Lester is 0 for 57 with with 34 strikeouts in his career. He’s walked once but never scored. He also hit a sacrifice fly for his first and only career RBI on June 27, 2010. That was the same game he walked — by far the best offensive game of his career (0 for 2, BB, RBI).

Here’s a chart of pitchers with the most plate appearances without their first hit, via the Wall Street Journal:


Of course, the Cubs didn’t sign Lester for his batting prowess. He’s a three-time All-Star and two-time World Series champ thanks to his left arm.

Making an All-Star Game as a Cub would justify signing him. A World Series here would make him a Chicago hero.

The Latest
Emergency crews responded to a call of people in the water about 5 p.m. in the no-wake slip often referred to as “the Playpen,” Chicago fire officials said.
Brisker looked the part of expected Week 1 starter with impact plays. Sanborn, the Lake Zurich product, had a glorious Bears debut with two takeaways, a tackle-for-loss and two special teams tackles
Why are there so many good ones? Not that anybody’s complaining.
When Josh Gordon caught a nine-yard pass and tried to stomp both feet down before crossing into the Chiefs sideline, Matt Eberflus knew what to do. He’d been preparing for it since January — but also, really, his whole life.
Jenkins was solid in the preseason game against the Chiefs on Saturday, which could help him find a spot. But not necessarily on the Bears.