John Lackey has been ejected before in his career, him arguing balls and strikes or getting hotheaded at an umpire is not new around these parts.
John Lackey getting ejected in the middle of a play though? That’s hilarious, and a perfectly Lackey move. He’s just elevating his argument game. Everybody else needs to catch up. In this instance, both Lackey and catcher Willson Contreras were ejected for arguing about the same pitch.
The pitch in question, helpfully tweeted and commentated by Lackey’s wife.
Good call Ump! pic.twitter.com/cKMUNaEubZ
— Kristina Lackey (@klackey33) September 15, 2017
Anybody can agree that the call on the 5th pitch there isn’t great. Could have been better. Especially in the middle of a tie game between two playoff-hopefuls.
Granted, Wilson Contreras didn’t frame it perfectly but it’s also so clearly in the strike zone that proper framing shouldn’t have been necessary to call that as a strike.
Lackey argued the call when it happened, and he even had the convincing evidence of Carlos Martinez walking away as if he had struck out on his side. But Contreras calmed him down, he got back on the mound, and threw another pitch to Martinez with a full count…which Martinez hit to center field and brought the go-ahead run home.
If you were wondering, yes, this is where Lackey got VERY MAD.
As he went to back up home plate for a throw home, he continued arguing balls and strikes and umpire Jordan Baker lackadaisically ejected him without thinking twice.
Here’s the entire sequence, in its complete HULK LACKEY glory.
Lackey/Contreras Ejection Sequence. pic.twitter.com/UciyjrOVBv
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 15, 2017
Even more important than Lackey’s ejection, Contreras was also tossed. When he got thrown out he slammed his mask on the ground, which then hit Baker in the leg.
Because it made contact with an umpire there’s a chance that Contreras could also be suspended, but thankfully Javy Baez came over to pull the catcher away from the argument before things got even worse.
The Cubs would go up 8-2 later in the game and lock in a win, but in a game tied 1-1 against a division team during a tight postseason race, that’s not what anyone wants to see. Especially as Contreras just returned from an injury absence.
It was another classic Lackey moment for the books though, and gave us this facial expression frozen in time.
John Lackey's Hall of Fame plaque pic.twitter.com/CKCmucELYn
— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) September 15, 2017