John Lackey stole the first base of his career ... and then got picked off
The Cubs' John Lackey has accomplished many things during his 15-year career. He's been an All-Star, earned Cy Young Award votes, won a World Series Game 7 and helped three teams take home championships. However, he had never stolen a base ... until the Cubs' 7-6 victory over the Reds on Wednesday.
With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Lackey singled to center off Homer Bailey. Unsurprisingly, the Reds chose not to hold him at first base. Then, with Bailey staring down Ben Zobrist on an 0-1 count, Lackey bolted. Did he have the green light, though? "Of course he does," Joe Maddon cracked to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat after the game. "How would you ever red light John Lackey?"
Bailey held onto the ball too long, and his throw to second was late. The 38-year-old had his first career steal.
Lackey didn't expect to steal, but he saw his opening. "When I got to hit, [first base coach Brandon Hyde] was like, 'Do you want to steal a base?' I was like, 'Heck, no, I'm tired,'" he said. "After the first pitch, nobody was really watching me, and it looked like it was pretty easy, so I just went ahead and went."
The only problem? Lackey didn't get to savor his steal for very long. After Zobrist walked, catcher Tucker Barnhart nabbed Lackey straying too far from the base.
"I made two bets," said Lackey. "One worked, one didn't."
Much like Icarus, Lackey flew too close to the sun. At least he'll have that steal.