LOOK: Dodgers take obscene leads off base vs. Jon Lester, who refuses to throw over

Those familiar with Chicago Cubs southpaw Jon Lester know that he doesn't like throwing to first base. Well, it goes beyond "doesn't like" -- he can't due to an odd mental block.

The Los Angeles Dodgers knew that about Lester and promised to take advantage of it during the lead-up to Game 5 of the National League Championship Series:

Sure enough, Dave Roberts and crew stayed true to their word.

Leadoff man Enrique Hernandez showed bunt three times to open the game (the lineup as a whole showed bunt in upwards of a dozen times, albeit while actually laying one down just once), and the Dodgers took daring leads all night -- including some of the running variety. Generally, if a base runner is toeing the cutout, he's straying into the danger zone. Yet look at where Hernandez was in relation to the cutout:

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Enrique Hernandez takes a large adult lead off first. MLBAM

Predictably, the Dodgers later attempted a pair of stolen bases. And woo boy, check the metrics on their leads:

To Lester's credit, he was able to work around those leads and stolen bases -- and even a fielding opportunity that nearly resulted in disaster. As of this writing, he'd held the Dodgers to one run through five innings.

But sheesh, don't be surprised if more teams take this approach against Lester heading forward -- especially when catcher David Ross isn't around next season to serve as a back-picking deterrent.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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