Chicago Cubs: John Lackey is taking heat, but does he deserve it?

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 27: John Lackey
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 27: John Lackey /

The Chicago Cubs’ John Lackey is the starter that is “terrible.” He needs to be DFA’d. But yet here he is, 3-0 for the month of July and pitching as well as anyone. It might be time to back off Lackey and simply let him pitch.

I’m guilty of it. I’ve spent time bad-mouthing the Chicago Cubs, John Lackey. But since he’s returned from the DL he’s been impressive. In fact, he’s posted a quality start in six of his last seven starts. The Cubs have won the last four games he’s started, including Sunday’s game against the second place Milwaukee Brewers. It might be time to lay off of Lackey a little bit.

After his seven inning shutout performance at Colorado, things only seemed to get worse for Lackey. In June, Lackey was 1-4 with a 5.35 ERA. After his July 5 start–which he won–he went on the DL with plantar fasciitis. There were plenty of fans that hoped the injury would last, well, the rest of the season.

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I, of course, was at his first game back in Atlanta. A two-hour rain delay didn’t keep Lackey from making his start (damn it). After he had given up a solo home run, it didn’t take long for fans to take their shots at Lackey. Keep in mind; the game was still going on. He IMMEDIATELY was terrible because he gave up a home run. My question? What if that’s all he gave up? It didn’t matter. He was still awful.

Lackey won that game–allowing just the home run–and hasn’t stopped winning since. In the month of July, he’s gone 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA (22 IP, 8 R, 21 H and 16 K). So while he might be ornery, or gets a little bit angry at times–you can’t complain about Lackey’s performance.

What role Lackey will have moving forward (if the Cubs make the playoffs) is to be determined. But over the last month, he’s at least earned the right to ignore the disgruntled fans. But chances are, he doesn’t. Lackey has gone about his business in the same way since he started playing this game. But the honest truth is he doesn’t care, and your words can’t hurt him.

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So next time Lackey pitches, maybe just watch the game in its entirety before firing off the “he sucks” line. Because recently, he hasn’t. I was with you at one point. Disgruntled. Angry. But it’s time to give him a chance. Winning can solve a lot of problems, that’s for sure.