Found June 29, 2013 on
Boston Sports Then & Now:
Yes you read the headline right. John Lackey is emerging as the Red Sox’ most reliable starter while Clay Buchholz is injured and Jon Lester works through struggles. Only a year ago it would have been an inconceivable thought to believe that Lackey could be pitching better than anyone else in the Red Sox rotation. Even back in April when Lackey’s arm was lifeless on his side after what looked like a devastating injury in his first start in over a year it seemed near impossible not only that Lackey would be contributing but he’d be contributing so much at a time when the Red Sox so dearly need him.
An in shape Lackey is producing this year for the Sox
Lackey is only 5-5 in his 13 starts but he has pitched much better than his record indicates. He is sporting a gaudy 2.99 ERA and has 73 strikeouts compared to just 17 walks in in 78.1 innings pitched for a 1.200% WHIP which, if he maintained, would be a career low. Lackey has excelled in June so far. He’s posted a 2-0 record with a 3.03 ERA. He leads the rotation in strikeouts with 28 and has a low among Sox starters in June with only 3 walks given up. He’s tied with Ryan Dempster for most innings pitched on the staff with 32.2. We may have seen the best that John Lackey has looked in years on Wednesday evening when he struck out 12 and walked no Rockies over 7 innings. Lackey’s recent performance has been extremely important in the wake of Clay Buchholz’ injury which has sidelined him since the 8th of June.
Lackey has seemed to have shaken off the rust and has pitched more effectively and, as a result, more confidently. He’s always relied on his location to succeed and he seems to have the best command that he’s had in his entire time with the Red Sox. His precision command has been evidenced by his 28/3 K/BB ratio in the month of June. His velocity is starting to come back as well. On Wednesday Lackey hit 95 MPH on several of his pitches. I can’t recall him getting up to 95 previously this season. Obviously Lackey had an uphill battle coming off of over a year of inactivity but he has bounced back well especially considering the injury in his first start and subsequent DL stint. As Lackey pointed out in his post-game presser on Wednesday he generally has more success in the second half of the season than he does in the first and with the added arm strength and confidence he could be in for another strong second half.
Lackey deserves an ovation for his 2013 performance thus far
Obviously Lackey has had more downs than ups in his time in Boston but like him or not he wears the uniform. Lackey has shown the toughness and savvy that he did when he was in Anaheim over the past few weeks. He is finally showing himself to be the pitcher that the Red Sox thought they were getting when they signed him prior to the 2010 season – an efficient strike thrower with the fortitude to come up big when he is needed the most. Now all Lackey has to do maintain. People can point to his part in the 2011 collapse but you’ve also got to remember that he was pitching with a severely damaged elbow that has been repaired.
John Lackey thinks that he’s in for a big second half of the season. We’ll see if he can live up to his words and his contract. If he does it’s not far-fetched to say that he may be a front runner for the comeback player of the year award. The question is if he does go all the way will Red Sox Nation start warming up to him?
Follow me on Twitter
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
(USA Today Sports Images)He's been asked to play out of position. He's been thrown into the middle of a pennant race. And, he's performed. Jose Iglesias—who we were told was offensively challenged—hit .395 in 25 June games and has been named FenwayNation's Player Of The Month. Of course, Iglesias still delivered his signature defense during June—making spectacular...
With the midway point of the season behind us, now seems like an acceptable time to start looking at which members of the Boston Red Sox’ will be playing in Citi Field for the ‘Midsummer Classic’ on July 16th. Here’s the shortlist of players who will either be a lock for the game, or on the bubble when the rosters are announced in a week.
Warning: this list is batters only...
BOSTON — Mike Napoli’s power outage is still in effect. At some point, he’ll need to flip the switch back into its early-season position.
Napoli exploded out of the gate this year, racking up extra-base hits and climbing to the top of the American League’s statistical leaderboard. Now, although Napoli is still getting on base at a decent clip, he’s failing to generate the...
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)It's these kinds of wins that sometimes define championship teams. Build a shaky lead with unlikely role players. Take that wobbly lead into the top of ninth and blow it. Then, win it in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the final frame. That's just the recipe the Red Sox followed today in a series-clinching 5-4 win at Fenway. Brandon Snyder and Ryan...
The MLB trade deadline is still a month away, but that won’t preclude the Red Sox from making some moves in the near future.
After trading Pedro Ciriaco and demoting Will Middlebrooks, the Red Sox have been shallow in the infield. That forced Boston to call up Jonathan Diaz and Brandon Snyder, but neither may be long-term options in the bigs.
The Red Sox could also use some help...
Jonny Gomes is the latest Red Sox player to take the hot seat on Red Sox Small Talk.
Gomes answered the tough questions from the kids, like what his favorite dance move is, if he’s ever gone swimming and what he wants to be when he grows up. Gomes did his best to answer the queries, even if he didn’t know what a paleontologist was.
Check out Gomes’ answers in the video above.
Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here...
highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as
satisfying as a good morning dump.
A new windup brought a marked improvement for Jon Lester. And he did it against the white-hot Toronto Blue Jays to boot.
But Lester, who had been lacking sharpness over the last month, also
The results have not been there thus far for Red Sox rookie Allen Webster, but scouts and pundits alike have been raving about the right-hander’s “stuff.”
Opponents have a tough time putting the bat on the ball against Webster, and that was never more apparent that during his last start against Detroit. Tigers hitters swung and missed on 23.2 percent of Webster’s pitches...
The Red Sox were able to rally in the ninth inning on Sunday to get a win over the Blue Jays, and it came in walk off fashion.
Starting pitcher Ryan Dempster didn’t factor in the decision, but he battled through 5 1/3 innings to put the Sox in position to win it. He gave up just two runs on seven hits, lowering his ERA to 4.11.
Ryan Lavarnway got the start behind the dish on...
Dustin Pedroia is bad news for the Blue Jays.
Pedroia is hitting .381 (16-for-42) against Toronto pitching this season, and he capped of a seven-run second Thursday night with a two-run home run. The touchdown-outburst proved to be all Boston needed in the series opener at Fenway Park, as the club rode a strong pitching effort by Jon Lester to a 7-4 win.
To hear what Pedroia had...
The Red Sox still sit atop the AL East heading into the second half of the season, and it seems like nothing can slow them down.
They’ve already battled injuries and slumps, the the Sox’ depth is part of the reason they have been so successful. After starting strong in April, many fans thought this year’s team could be too good to be true.
NESN Nation’s Alison Smith breaks...
When the Red Sox get to the cleanup spot in their lineup, it will be Jonny Gomes, not David Ortiz, in the batter’s box.
Ortiz is scheduled to get the day off on Sunday, which means manager John Farrell had to do some lineup maneuvering. Gomes will move into left field, Mike Napoli will get the designated hitter duties and Daniel Nava will find himself at first base for a change...
Allen Webster has yet to pick up a win in his first three major league starts, but the Red Sox aren’t close to losing faith in the lanky 23-year-old.
Webster has shown what WEEI’s Rob Bradford characterized as “electric stuff,” boasting both a mid-90s fastball and a deadly changeup that the Detroit Tigers had great trouble with during his most recent outing last Saturday...
Jonny Gomes broke a tie with a seventh-inning single and the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-5 after squandering a five-run lead Friday night.
The Red Sox had 15 hits, giving them at least 10 for the sixth time in seven games. They have 93 hits over that span.
Andrew Miller (1-2) got the win with 1 1-3 scoreless innings. Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for his fourth...
RedSoxLife.com Staff Writer
Game 83: Sox explode in 2rd, hold on to win 7-4
Boston, Ma- The weather was not delightful, but it held off long enough for Boston to score seven runs in the second inning and chase starter Chieng-Ming Wang before the third inning, the 8th time the Red Sox have done that to a starter this year. Jon...