Lester, Lackey happy with first sim game

Lester, Lackey happy with first sim game

MESA, Ariz. -- Jon Lester likes being able to get a feel for a new ballpark before a game, while John Lackey says it doesn't really matter. The two Cubs starters had their first action at Sloan Park on Tuesday, each throwing two innings in a simulated game.

"It's nice to get over there," Lester said of pitching at the stadium. "The biggest thing is you get your surroundings, get your bearings. It's kind of cool. At the same time, it's still live [batting practice], and you don't have the adrenaline like you would in a normal situation."

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Lackey, now pitching for his fourth big league team, just shrugged at needing some time to get familiar.

"I'm in a little bit different situation," said Lackey, formerly of the Angels, Red Sox and Cardinals. "That was [Lester's] first time changing teams [as a free agent]. I've done it a couple times. I think it's easier for me to get acclimated in a new clubhouse. I'm pretty comfortable with my routine, and it doesn't matter where it's at."

Lester did say he feels more at ease this spring, his second with the Cubs.

"I already feel more ahead of the game and into my normal routine as far as Spring Training and as far as trying to go out and fit in and impress and making sure you're good enough to earn what you were given," said the left-hander who signed a six-year, $155 million free-agent deal in December 2014. "It's just a different place mentally, physically. It's a good feeling."

That may have something to do with Lester being reunited with Lackey. The two were teammates on the Red Sox from 2010-14.

"It's been a blast," Lackey said. "I'm really excited to be here, and I'm really having fun being with him. The other guys seem awesome. I'm really happy with my decision."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.