Sometimes, simple is better.
So last night, as he’s done most of the season, John Lackey took his team’s chances of winning a game, slathered it in lighter fluid and his own waste (otherwise known as his breakfast), lit it on fire and waited to see if his offense could arrive in time with the fire extinguisher. And again, they couldn’t.
So then after the game, when asked what the Cubs had done differently during their five-game win-streak, he commented, “We’ve pitched a lot better. It’s not like we’ve been scoring a ton of runs.”
Let’s give Lacks a math-lesson here. During this homestand, the Cubs have scored 33 runs. That’s 5.5 per game. Sure, it’s spiked by the 10 on Tuesday night, but the seven, five, and five last night they’ve put up in other games are certainly more than an acceptable total.
And let’s go back through Lackey’s starts, shall we?
So last night the Cubs put five runs, which should be enough to win most games. It wasn’t, because Lackey couldn’t wait to give back the lead his team got him in the 3rd. Maybe not the night to take a shot at your bats. The two starts before that, sure, his team got him three combined runs, and all that in the win over the Cardinals.
You’re not going to like the rest of this, John. The only game the Cubs lost to the Giants saw Lacks get flayed by a team that can’t really hit. The Cubs got four runs, and on most nights, four runs is supposed to be enough. A win against the Reds the start before that saw Lackey get nine runs of support.
Hey, shut out the Rockies in Denver. Nice. Also got eight runs of support. Win over the Phillies? Five runs of support. Beat the Red Sox, got seven runs. Losing to the Reds in Cincy? Wasted five runs. Beaten by the Brewers before that? Three runs, which could be more but is still in quality start range.
Seems to me, John, you’re getting the same run-support that Jon Lester is. Don’t see him airing out his offense in any way.
Let’s have some more fun, and check out the pitches Lackey got beat on in the 4th inning last night. Here was his change to Realmuto with two strikes, mind you:
The one in blue is the curve with two strikes to Dietrich:
Here’s the one pitch he made to something called Tyler Moore that was labeled over Heyward’s head.
And then the one pitch he made to J.T. Riddle, who strangely is not the weenie office guy in an Avengers movie:
So there’s Big Ol’ Texas John, grabbing himself and spitting and snorting (just like at his wedding I’m sure, before he ditched her when she got cancer), tellin’ hitters, “Here I come right after ya cuz that’s how we do it in Texas!” And there are all the hitters taking those pitches right over the plate and sending them right up his ass when they’re not causing people to duck 400 feet away.
While Lackey’s view of the offense overall is probably correct, I’m not sure Lackey is quite in the place to call it so. And if Rizzo were to say to the press, “Well we scored enough but John was pitching so we didn’t get the Costco level of runs we needed,” I know whose side I’d be on.
Lackey’s “here it is because I wear a cowboy hat” approach clearly isn’t working. Does he have a location-centric attack with him? Guess we’re finding out. But if it doesn’t work, the one thing we do know is that it isn’t Lackey’s fault.