John Lackey: Speed demon?
After 15 years in the big leagues, 440 appearances and more than 2,800 innings, the 38-year-old Lackey is still setting career firsts.
After singling with two outs off Homer Bailey in the fourth inning of the Cubs' 7-6 win Wednesday night, Bailey stopped paying attention to Lackey and the veteran took off for second.
Here's the full play, with an absolutely epic and perfectly-crafted "Ricky Bobby" reference from the MLB Twitterers:
I wanna go fast! pic.twitter.com/cS8xPcBtlz— MLB (@MLB) August 17, 2017
Hey, if you ain't first, you're last.
"When I got the hit, [Cubs first base coach Brandon Hyde] was like 'you wanna steal a base?' And I'm like 'heck no, I'm tired,'" Lackey said. "But then after the first pitch, nobody was really watching me and it looked like it was pretty easy, so I just went ahead and went."
Lackey later got picked off second base when he apparently forgot what he was doing and took off toward third on the full-count pitch to Ben Zobrist. Zobrist walked and Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart fired to second.
Lackey was initially called safe but a replay proved he was out.
"I made two bets — one worked, one didn't," Lackey quipped.
Lackey's good buddy Jon Lester stole his first career base earlier in the season and the two may or may not have a wager on it.
"That's none of your business," Lackey said.
On the mound, Lackey had another opportunity to do something else he's never done before — win six straight starts. After loading the bases with no outs in the first inning, he let up only one run thanks to Kyle Schwarber gunning another guy down at the plate.
Lackey loaded the bases again in the second inning, but got out of that jam, too and wound up tossing six innings with just the solo tally surrendered. He departed with a 6-1 lead, but the Cubs bullpen couldn't hold on, thus ending his own personal winning streak.
Before the game, Joe Maddon was talking about how Lackey may not decide to retire at the end of the year if he finishes strongly. When asked about it after the game, Lackey had his answer ready:
"I didn't say anything about retiring." he said. "Just playing baseball. Taking it one start at a time and see what happens. That'll be a family decision at the end of the year."
One start at a time? More like one stolen base at a time, right?