Is today the day that John Lackey "officially became a Boston Red Sox"? Many of us have been riding this guy all year for his Dice-K like numbers (i.e., an inappropriate amount of wins given his inefficient performances), but on the big stage tonight, with the Sox facing a tremendous amount of injuries, and a fired up/desperate Rays team in town, Lackey took his skirt off and showed he might just be worth a portion of that mammoth contract.
Seven innings, only one run, while "scattering" eight hits and striking out three isn't a Lester or Buchholz-like gem, but it's the most Lackey-like we've seen yet. And given the circumstances, it may have been one of the more important pitching performances of the year thus far. Sure, Oki proceeded to do what he's been doing best all season, but that's not the story here. Lackey stepped up and put the team on his back tonight, a sight we've been waiting to see all year long.
Lets face it, the Darnells, Novas, and Halls of the world are not going to win games for us consistently, we'll need the team's true strength, its starting pitching, to keep their heads above water over the next 30 games or so.....and if Lackey can go on a run, you've gotta feel good about this team's chances to stay in the thick of things.
ITM note- Finally some good news on the injury front for the Sox as they don't expect Buchholz to miss a start, nor will VMart need surgery to fix his fractured thumb.
On a separate ITM note: did anyone else think catchers always played through these types of small injuries? I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not calling VMart out at all, TMurph would be on short term disability for this injury, but I just always grew up thinking catchers always played with these issues.