The $155 million lefty retired 18 of the final 20 he faced in a 5-3 victory over the Marlins, and Joe Maddon said it’s the best he’s seen him pitch.
Anthony Rizzo got a scheduled day off despite his .700 on-base percentage as a leadoff hitter and the Cubs’ search for consistent lineup production.
Lackey’s strong start lowered the rotation’s ERA to 2.35 over the last 10 games, with only a 6-4 record to show for it, including a 2-0 loss Friday.
Bryant plans to decline the invitation he received from MLB because of the fatigue factor. Rizzo hopes to be invited with the game near his hometown.
The Cubs pitcher plans to “let it roll” with his new buzz-cut look after his most efficient start of the season Thursday.
Jake Arrieta walked none in the 11-1 win. “To get Jake pitching that kind of quality game again is going to be a big boon to us,” Joe Maddon said.
The Opening Day leadoff man was hitting .171 when optioned Thursday, the same day the Cubs put right fielder Jason Heyward (cut hand) on the DL.