Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lackey's Coming Around for the Red Sox

Amidst the Bruins playoff chances (yawn) and all of the little league and AAU baseball games (hello sunburn), one thing that has got Red Sox fans excited is the re-emergence of John Lackey as a force on the Red Sox starting rotation.

It's not a reach to think about Lackey's comeback.  He was a 19 game winner back in 2007, finishing third in the Cy Young Award balloting.  But after a forgettable 2011 campaign that was marked by controversy and Budweiser, and a 2012 season spent on the shelf, it was still refreshing to see Lackey come out somewhat strong to open the 2013 season.  Despite his 1-4 record.  I was so confident in Lackey's come back that I even picked him as my player to watch in my preseason journal.

Fast forward to today's game against the Minnesota Twins.  The threat of rain was present and it would have have been nice if Lackey could finish off the sweep and bring the Red Sox to within half a game of the Yankees.  Lackey started strong in the First

After Middlebrooks' Home Run made the game 1-0, I was starting to get my hopes of a sweep.  I wouldn't vocalize my thoughts, however, as C and G were milling around while I was watching the game.

As the second and third innings passed by and Lackey still hadn't given up a hit, I started to think more than a win.  I started to think about a no-hitter.  Still the rain was coming, and Lackey hadn't given up a hit through 4.

As Napoli hits a bloop single to Center field to make it 3-0 in the fifth, I wanted the inning to be over so we could get in a complete game.

And just as I think it, the rain starts to come down.  Maybe, Lackey can get this no hitter shortened by rain.  He can join Buchholz and Lester as the Red Sox starters who have thrown no hitters.  Lackey comes out with a determined look on his face as he starts the fifth inning.  And just like that the no hitter is over, as Trevor Plouffe razors a double to left field.  Lackey, unflustered then gives up a hit batter (that did not look like a hit batter) and then an error by Pedro Ciriaco brings in the Twins first run.

Now in Lackey's first two years, I would have expected him to start blowing up, barking at his fellow players and generally let his body language speak for itself.  But this is the new John Lackey.  The one who is confident and not a dolt.  He gets out fo the fifth with no more damage and mows the Twins down in the Sixth.

And then the rains came.  2 hours and 55 minutes of rain.  Why do they insist on resuming this game almost three hours after it was stopped for rain? I don't get a say, however, as the game restarts at 7:30 in the bottom of the 7th inning.

I look at C and G who rejoin me before they go to bed.  I think at this point I'm going to bed too.  I hope the Red Sox and Lackey win this one.

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