Chicago Cubs News: Lackey exits Sunday’s game with shoulder stiffness
For the first time in a long time, the Chicago Cubs have dropped two games in a row. Their division rival St. Louis Cardinals put together a five-run eighth inning to help earn a split.
Well, for a while there it looked as if John Lackey was going to pick up his 10th win of the season and the Cubs were going to improve to 74-43. But that didn’t necessarily happen, at least not last night.
Lackey received an early 2-0 lead in the very first inning of the ballgame courtesy of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo had himself a huge night in the batter’s box, finishing with a two-run homer to bump his RBI total up to 85 on the year.
That mark puts him in sole possession of third place in the National League in that category. Sadly, Anthony’s big night wasn’t enough as the St. Louis Cardinals managed to pick up a series split.
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Still, the Cubbies have themselves a 12 game lead over the Redbirds in the National League Central and will begin a four-game set with the Milwaukee Brewers starting Tuesday afternoon.
It’s a doubleheader that will start off with Trevor Cahill taking on former Cub Matt Garza and end with Jason Hammel squaring off against Chase Anderson. That means Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and Kyle Hendricks will follow leading into their road trip.
John was removed from last night’s game after experiencing shoulder stiffness during the seventh inning. Hector Rondon later entered the game and allowed the Cardinals to rally.
With the starting rotation set to restart, Lackey’s next start should be in Colorado over the weekend. Except, there is a slight chance that may not happen. And right now, the Chicago Cubs cannot afford to have him leave for a certain period of time.
I mean, seriously. Joe Maddon has already lost Pedro Strop for 4-to-6 weeks with a torn meniscus in his left knee, resulting in Justin Grimm returning to the club. If Lackey finds himself on the disabled list for at least seven or so days, Joe would either have to dip into the minors or roll with Cahill.
If it comes down to it, Pierce Johnson could be making his big league debut ahead of the September expansion. This club needs some homegrown pitching within their organization aside from Hendricks and Carl Edwards Jr.
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Both men were acquired from the Texas Rangers, not drafted by the Cubs themselves. Johnson is one of those prospects who appears to be on his way to cracking the 25-man roster within the next couple of seasons.
Depending on what the Cubs are going to do with Lackey, his dream of taking the mound for the major league club could become a reality soon.