John Lackey left Sunday’s game with right shoulder stiffness … Scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday
John Lackey left Sunday night’s game in the seventh inning with one on, two outs and a 2-2 count on Randal Grichuk with an apparent arm injury. Lackey pleaded with Joe Maddon, as he always does, to leave him in the game. Maddon knew something wasn’t right with Lackey and took him out of the game.
Maddon said after the game that Lackey’s right shoulder stiffened up on him. Lackey received treatment during the game and was already feeling better by the time Maddon met with the beat writers. Maddon was not in a position to commit to Lackey making his next start.
“When you talk to him, I am sure he will say he will make his next start,” Maddon said. “I just don’t know yet. I just know his shoulder stiffened up, and they treated it. He felt better afterwards. That is what I know.”
John Lackey downplayed the shoulder injury and really did not sound concerned at all. Lackey said he’s pitched with a lot more pain than what he was feeling Sunday. Lackey admitted that his shoulder hasn’t felt right and his been tight ever since warming up Thursday to pitch in the extra innings game. Lackey was ready to go had the game gone to the 12th inning. The Cubs won in the 11th on Anthony Rizzo’s walk-off walk.
“I am okay,” Lackey said. “The extra bullpen session was probably not the best thing for me. I have been a little tight since then. It’s nothing crazy. I have been out there before feeling a whole lot worse. Yeah, I will be all right.”
As Bruce Levine pointed out, the lack of options in the bullpen has forced Joe Maddon to get Lackey hot twice in extra innings games (July 31, Aug. 11). Lackey said he will not warm up again this season to possibly be used in an extra innings game. Lackey is willing to do whatever it takes in October, but in the regular season he is “done taking one for the team.”
670 The Score reported Monday morning during the Mully and Hanley Show that Lackey is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday.
The Cubs will know more about Lackey’s shoulder after getting the results from the MRI.
With the lack of starting pitching options and a thin bullpen that is dealing with injuries and poor performance, the Cubs simply cannot afford to lose John Lackey for any length of time. It would be better at this point to try to skip Lackey one-time through or at least push him back a couple of days to make sure there are no issues moving forward.