There is a chance today was John Lackey's last start as Cub. A small chance, yes, but still a chance. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I strongly dislike Mr. Lackey; he's very quick to make excuses and shift blame. Maybe you have a 4.97 ERA this year because you've given up 25 homers in just over 100 innings and not because of bad umpires, Joe Maddon, and Eric Thames taking roids.
Like most starts this year, he pitched poorly today. He only gave up two runs in five innings, but it should have been much worse with the 11 baserunners he was responsible for. Four of those baserunners came as a result of hit batters. Let's play a game: Did John Lackey hit you on purpose? For each HBP, I'll also include Hawk Harrelson's reaction.
1st: Jose Abreu
I don't think so. 4/10 on the intentional scale. Lackey's fastball (92 mph) has a lot of movement and this one just seemed to run a little bit more than he expected.
Hawk: "And that got him...With Lackey, that might have been because Rizzo got hit yesterday."
5th: Jose Abreu
Probably. 7/10 on the intentional scale. Another inside fastball, this one at 90 mph. Lackey shook off Contreras a couple times before he got the call for the inside pitch, so he probably knew he might hit him.
Hawk: "That's enough of that, Lackey. That's enough of that BS. Okay, let's see what one of your boys is gonna get drilled, or maybe you...You can bet your sweet bippy somebody on that team is gonna get drilled."
5th: Matt Davidson
9/10. 89 mph, Lackey is getting tired. With an open base and two outs, this felt like the worst one. Plus, Davidson hit one 800 feet yesterday.
Hawk: "Lackey, it's just a matter of time buddy...just a matter of time."
5th: Yoan Moncada
2/10. Probably the least intentional, but still a fastball.
Hawk (after 10 seconds of silence): "I hope he doesn't give him a warning. That means we can't hit anybody...I tell you what, you could fry some eggs on Renteria's behind right now."