“The remake of John Lackey both physically and getting back on the mound and performing as he’s done all year, mirrors that of this team. It’s been a remake and it’s somewhat fitting that, to clinch a spot to get into the playoffs with him on the mound and to go nine innings the way he did, like I said, very fitting.” Those were the words of Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell after Lackey’s complete game win over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night clinched the first playoff berth for the Red Sox in five years. After a disastrous 2011 season and missing all of 2012 with an injury, Lackey has been the Red Sox most consistent pitcher this season and a huge reason for their incredible turnaround.
Don’t let Lackey’s 10-12 record fool you, he has certainly not gotten the run support of pitchers like Max Scherzer this season. However, his 3.44 ERA is about half of his ERA in 2011 and is second best among Red Sox starters. Most importantly, the attitude change for Lackey has been key this season. Under the leadership of John Farrell, Lackey has committed to getting back in shape both physically and mentally and has done a masterful job in helping the Red Sox become a playoff team once again. As someone who was extremely critical of Lackey during his poor performance a couple of years ago, I am very impressed with what he has been able to do this year, and hope that he can continue it during the Sox’ playoff run.
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