Just like the Red Sox front office drew it up in the offseason, staff ace John Lackey went eight innings and Koji Uehara locked down the save as 3B Brandon Snyder carried the offense in a 4-1 win over San Diego.
Lackey was the story. He gave up just one run (a solo homer that barely cleared the Monster) and one walk, yielding six runs across eight innings. His fastball had some serious velocity -- I saw it clocked at 96 once, not sure if it got higher -- and he was simply overpowering the Padres.
Lackey's ERA is now down to 2.81 on the season (1.32 at home), something unfathomable to Sox fans after three lackluster seasons in Boston. Our writing staff was high on Lackey coming into this season (one of our few good predictions, but that's a story for another time), but I don't think any of us could have foreseen this. I thought Lackey would at least earn the AAV of his contract -- now $12 million thanks to the extra year that's being triggered from the time he missed while injured. An average, healthy performance would basically warrant that these days.
But Lackey's been much more than average. Hope the manager of the All-Star team is taking notice, and ignoring his 6-5 record, which doesn't do him justice.
Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz, Jose Iglesias, and Jonny Gomes all had two-hit games, with Iglesias accounting for one RBI. Brandon Snyder got the other three RBI -- a double (in which he got thrown out at third) in the 4th that got the Sox on the board.
Koji provided a stress-free 9th, something that's been a rarity at Fenway this year. The Sox keep pushing ahead -- they're now 51-34 on the year. In other news, Bobby Valentine is kicking off a new era in Sacred Heart sports. Good luck with that, Bobby.