John Lackey Did Some Plunking, Crazy Things Happen, and Other Bullets

I’m on my way to Chicago today in advance of tomorrow night’s event at Nisei Lounge, and the BN Blogathon this weekend. It’s going to be a crazy week …

  • Speaking of crazy, hitting four batters in a game – three in the same inning – is all kinds of crazy. It’s so crazy, in fact, that as it was happening, you knew for certain that Cubs starter John Lackey wasn’t doing it on purpose. And yet we also knew that the Cubs were likely to get hit in retaliation, which Ian Happ later was. Aren’t those two things completely incompatible? If we know what Lackey did was unintentional, why is it within the baseball culture to also know that, “welp, that was one too many, now the Cubs have to have a player hit by a 90 mph rock”?
  • After the game, even Lackey himself said he would probably hit an opponent if the other team’s pitcher had plunked four (CSN). White Sox manager (and former Cubs manager) Rick Renteria said things were taken care of between the lines and it’s now over, which, well, I like that part. I don’t so much like the idea that when Renteria went out to discuss the third HBP with the home plate umpire, he asked that warnings not be issued. The implication there was that he didn’t want the warning yet so that his guy could plunk someone without recourse, and THEN there would be a warning. And that’s exactly how it played out, as the White Sox got a free shot at Happ. At least there won’t be any additional fireworks today (unless something new happens, that is).
  • On the whole, it was another “hey, that’s just fine for a fifth starter” type outing for Lackey. He gave the Cubs a good chance to win over five innings of work. As a fifth starter, that’s fine. I’ll take that. Yesterday was one of just four Lackey starts this year that didn’t feature a home run, so that’s good. Also, he hasn’t given up more than three runs in five of his last six starts.
  • For now, Lackey remains firmly ensconced in the rotation, and Joe Maddon said he still likes Mike Montgomery for the sixth starter role (ESPN).
  • Also crazy:
  • Willson Contreras met with a young fan before yesterday’s game for a birthday surprise, and it’s just incredible. You already loved Contreras, and now you love him more.
  • This is an extremely interesting step:
  • Wild stuff, man:
  • https://twitter.com/flippingbats/status/890003070352052224

  • A mini phone charger is on a big sale at Amazon for your portable power needs, and the MLB Shop brought back its Summer Clearance Event.
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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