Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 9/19/13
Los-angeles-angels-boston
It's fitting that the successful-beyond-expectations Red Sox clinch a playoff berth on a night in which their previously most reviled player -- one who had been a complete bust at $18 million per year -- tosses a complete-game two-hitter. John Lackey was a strike machine tonight. He had a no-hitter into the 7th inning, and after an Adam Jones solo homer he settled back in. He threw 82 strikes in 113 pitches and gave John Farrell no reason to turn to his bullpen. Lackey is now 10-12 on the year, but more importantly his ERA is at just 3.44. (And his xFIP is 3.50, if you're into that sort of thing). This sort of performance -- when compared with Jake Peavy's success in a Red Sox uniform and the growing sentiment that he should be the no. 3 starter in the playoffs, ahead of Lackey -- points to the mythical "These guys like to compete against each other" element that some analysts claims good pitching staffs have. Speaking of unlikely, offensively the Sox got their burst from the bottom of the lineup, as Stephen Drew tripled and homered while batting 8th, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. had two hits including a double in the nine-hole. Dustin Pedroia also had a pair of hits hitting leadoff, where he typically has struggled in his career.  We knew we were getting in at this point, but it's nice to do so definitively. Nice work, Lack. Now let's lock up the division and then we can start thinking about resting guys, getting healthy, and setting that rotation. Box score
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