Now for some particulars …
John Lackey’s first pitch as a Chicago Cub was an elevated fastball that Jean Segura took out the opposite way.
In retrospect – or I guess just creating a narrative after the fact – that pitch portended some bad things. Obviously the particularly bad thing was the Kyle Schwarber injury in the outfield, and we’ll just have to wait for more information on that.
The other bad thing was the middle-up part of the strike zone where Lackey’s fastball kept living. It’s not where he wants to be, and he got smacked around for his trouble. To his credit, Lackey managed to give the Cubs six innings, with the final three being scoreless. But I’d be lying if I said he looked all that much better in the second three innings than the first. Tons of pitches up, tons of hard contact. Hopefully it’s just a bad start that he can shake off next time around. Lackey seems like the kind of guy who doesn’t really let a bad start impact him the next time he’s out there.
Offensively, the Cubs did what they do: saw so many pitches, put so many runners on base, scored so many runs – and yet somehow still left you wanting to see them score many more. When Anthony Rizzo capped things off in the 9th with a three-run homer, I guess I was ready to settle for 14 runs.
Great win. Mixed feelings.