Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 7/23/12
From 2008 to 2010, there were only six pitchers in baseball better than Jon Lester, and you can probably identify them all by first name — Roy, Cliff, Tim, Zack, CC and Justin. Last year however, was a different story. Lester was still one of the top 30 pitchers in the game, but he was ensconced safely outside of the top 10. While many expected a rebound, or at least for Lester to plateau in 2012, he has continued his descent, with the exclamation point coming yesterday, when he allowed 11 runs in four innings to the Blue Jays. As we noted last week with Jonathan Sanchez, part of Lester’s trouble may stem from the fact that while his fastball velocity is declining, his changeup velocity is increasing. The changeup hasn’t been a problem for Lester this season, but his fastball certainly has. Lester has not even lost a mile and a half on his four-seamer, and it is still the ninth-fastest four-seamer among left-handed starters. But that sentence is a bit of a tip off, isn’t it? Two seasons
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