Lester looking for a fresh start with an old nemesis, the Cardinals

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Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jon Lester delivers during the third inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Nick Wass

Tom Timmermann

Jon Lester didn’t get any younger when the Cardinals acquired him at the trade deadline from Washington. It just seems that way.

In Washington, Lester was the old man of the Nationals’ pitching staff at 37. In St. Louis, that’s not even second-best. He trails 39-year-old Adam Wainwright and 38-year-old J.A. Happ, with Wade LeBlanc, who turns 37 on Saturday, not far behind.

“It kind of feels good to be, you know, just kind of one of the guys as opposed to the oldest guy,” he said Sunday morning. “So that’ll be nice.”

Lester joined his new team on Sunday morning, two days after being acquired in a trade for outfielder Lane Thomas. The Cardinals let him stay in Washington an extra day before coming to St. Louis so he could celebrate his son’s 11th birthday. “This is the second one I’ve been traded on,” he said. “The unfortunate birthday on the trade deadline in our industry.”

Lester will quickly be thrown into service. He’ll make his first start as a Cardinal on Tuesday when the Cardinals face the Braves at Busch Stadium. For a guy who pitched against the Cardinals twice in the World Series when he was with the Red Sox (winning both) and pitched…

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