Just another Cubs-Sox game as Anthony Rizzo, John Lackey jaw in dugout
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It wasn’t exactly Carlos Zambrano and Derrek Lee or Michael Barrett and A.J. Pierzynski.
But add John Lackey and Anthony Rizzo’s animated “discussion” in the Cubs’ dugout during the second inning Tuesday at Wrigley Field to the long list of heated, caught-on-camera moments in Cubs-Sox lore.
After Lackey gave up a two-out, two-run double to White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon in a frustrating second inning, he could be seen bumping Rizzo as he passed him in the dugout. Rizzo and Lackey then engaged in a brief, animated discussion that for a moment looked heated.
“I’m not sure what happened,” said teammate Addison Russell, who said it was over almost as quickly as it began.
In fact, teammates and staff around them didn’t react with any apparent alarm, and Lackey went on to pitch into the sixth inning for a 7-2 victory.
“I sat down and heard something,” catcher Willson Contreras said, “but I didn’t hear clearly so I don’t know what happened there.”
Lackey spoke to the media before word of the incident spread to those who weren’t watching the broadcast, and he had left the clubhouse before he could be asked about it later. Rizzo made an uncharacteristically quick postgame exit and was unavailable. Not that it seemed to rise to a level of seriousness beyond another curious snapshot from the crosstown rivalry.
And given Lackey’s propensity for game-day crabbiness, it might have been little more than Lackey blowing off steam after the aggravation of giving up the big hit to the pitcher.
“I was probably more aggravated [because] I thought I had me a double-play ball to get out of that thing before he got up there,” Lackey said, referring to shortstop Russell covering on a steal attempt as a ball was hit through his vacated spot for a one-out single. Usually, the second baseman covers on that play.
Regardless, this stuff was Big Z Light compared to past Cubs-Sox antics — including Cubs catcher Barrett punching Sox catcher Pierzynski in 2006 and Cubs pitcher Zambrano getting in a shoving match with Cubs first baseman Lee in the dugout in 2010.
Lackey actually did most of his damage to the ribs of Sox batters — hitting Jose Abreu with pitches twice, including during a fifth inning in which he hit three batters.
“I mean, I wasn’t trying to hit anybody,” said Lackey, who got out of the hit-batter jam in the fifth.
None looked intentional. And bench warnings weren’t issued until Ian Happ was hit in retaliation leading off the fifth.
“If I’m pitching on the other side, I’d probably hit somebody for sure,” Lackey said.
It was a career high number of hit batters for Lackey, who became the first Cub to hit four in a game since Moe Drabowsky in 1957.
“We set all kinds of weird records today,” manager Joe Maddon said. “I think we tied Moe Drabowsky, and Javy [Baez] probably tied somebody. It was a day of awkward record making or breaking today.”
Baez struck out in all five at-bats.
This and that
The Cubs improved to 9-2 since the All-Star break.
• Cubs starting pitchers are 8-0 with a combined 2.48 ERA since the break.
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