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.
The Red Sox are in desperate need of a veteran starter to step forward at mid-season.Â Â Â Â Who knew that would be John Lackey?Â Â Â Â Lackey gave the Red Sox seven strong innings Wednesday, allowing just two runs on eight hits while fanning a dozen and walking none in a 5-3 victory over the Rockies. It was arguably the best start of the season and on a short list of the best outings he's had since signing with the Red Sox.Â Â Â Â And it couldn't have come at a better time.Â Â Â Â "It seems like, either through injuries or some performances that have been a little inconsistent, we've had some guys step up,'' said manager John Farrell. "And John has been one of the mainstays right now, over the last month. John led the way today.''
CSNNE:Â Lackey to the rescueÂ
This pitching staff is in shambles right now. Jon Lester is out of whack, Clay Buchholz is now becoming paranoid of another long term injury, and Felix DoubrontÂ doesn't look like he'll do more than six innings. The Sox are on a losing snide but are still atop the AL East.
And we have John Lackey to thank for that.
In his last five starts, Lackey has gone 2-0 with a 3.03 ERA with 28 strikeouts and only three walks. This is the same guy that would issue three walks every other start! Â Not only has he been good with his control, but he's finally pitching well at Fenway. He's 3-1 with a 1.36 ERA in five starts at home. I know I rubbed my eyes when I saw this to make sure I wasn't seeing right.
Before the season, I was thinking John Lackey would have a bounce back year, considering he was finally healthy for the first time in years. But I wasn't expecting this nor would I expect that he would be holding the fort down while everyone else is hurt or lost on the mound. But here we are. Despite your past feelings for the guy, he's done good enough to win some respect back. Besides it's not like we never rooted for a-holes before right?
Rest of the Links: Globe:Â Lackey's big dayÂ |Â Lackey, Sox defeat Rockies, 5-3Â | Herald:Â Lackey's new look: AceÂ |Â Lackey can be a solutionÂ |Â Buchholz still hurtingÂ | CSNNE:Â Perfect start for Uehara as closerÂ |Â Buchholz : Not right for me to pitch at 80 percentÂ | WEEI:Â Lackey better than everÂ |Â Lackey, Uehara reel in Rox