Dodgers News: Brandon McCarthy Expresses Newfound Admiration For Jon Lester
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to the National League Championship Series beginning Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said his club would attempt to exploit Chicago Cubs starter Jon Lester for his unwillingness — or inability — to throw over to bases to hold runners.

Aside from taking large leads in Game 1, the Dodgers did little to capitalize on Lester’s well-documented issue. Roberts doubled down for Game 5, vowing the Dodgers would further press the issue. Again, it was more smoke than fire.

The Cubs defeated the Dodgers in six games to advance to the World Series, which began Tuesday night at Progressive Field.

Like in the NL Division Series and NLCS, Lester was on the mound for a series opener. He struggled in some regard, allowing three runs on six hits, including one home run, over 5.2 innings.

That didn’t stop Brandon McCarthy from sharing his admiration for Lester in spite of the southpaw’s trouble with throwing over to first base:

McCarthy strung together four strong starts after returning in July from Tommy John surgery. However, he suffered a hip injury and it led to one poor outing after another. The Dodgers eventually placed the right-hander on the 15-day disabled list.

After missing more than one month, McCarthy returned in September. He started the Dodgers’ NL-West clinching game, and after the win revealed he was suffering from a case of the yips.

Unlike Lester, McCarthy’s issues were with locating in the strike zone. He yanked four pitches in just 3.2 innings of work during an Aug. 7 start. While the 33-year-old managed to return he was left off the Dodgers’ postseason rosters for the NLDS and NLCS.

As for Lester, he bounced back from a subpar 2015 campaign to lead the Cubs pitching staff. He’s 2-1 with a 1.69 ERA in four starts this postseason. The loss came to the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of the World Series.