John Lackey’s return to the mound proved he’s ready for his return. With a 6-1 victory over the Houston Astros today he has a lot to be credited for. Although it took time to find his comfort zone in the first inning, as the Astros scored their one and only run (with two walks and two hits), the top of the fourth arrived and he was aflame. 1, 2, 3, you’re out! Strike out #3. As the top of the fifth unwound Lackey persevered and retired eleven Astros in a row. It would be thirteen by the end of the sixth.
By the sixth inning Lackey held the Astros to just two hits in five innings making it a stellar performance. Lackey’s back, everyone, and better than ever; another strong asset to the improved Red Sox team. John Farrell is doing everything right by holding this team accountable and ready for whatever comes their way. I still am in awe by the way they swing their bats and how they run the bases. At times it may be a little too aggressive, but in general the players are right on point.
The top of the sixth and only sixty-four pitches into the game, Farrell is happy with Lackey’s performance. He remains in the game even though Lackey was only supposed to pitch five innings, but why take a man out when all he does is show results? After all, the pitch count was low and he had retired thirteen Astros consecutively. Okay, if you were counting strike outs, it wasn’t Lackey’s day (by the end of the sixth inning which he fought his way, tooth and nail, out of) he had a total of four strike outs, but in general we couldn’t be more happy with the way things turned out. It was decided to retire Lackey as the sixth inning came to an end. The Astros were left with three men on base (a possible grand slam) but Lackey wasn’t finished. To end the inning, he struck out Astros, Martinez with a curve ball, and allowed a ground ball to Drew to get the last out at second.
What a nice finish for John Lackey. He looks terrific. I’m glad to have him back.