Lackey's luster

Sam Galanis
Contributing Writer

AP Photo/Genevieve Ross

Up until now, seeing “John Lackey” and “one hit” in the same sentence would be surprising. Unless that sentence was something along the lines of “John Lackey gave up one hit on the first pitch and then 10 more after that.” All joking aside though, it seems as though Lackey has made a turnaround after taking a season off due to Tommy John surgery.

Lackey did give up only one hit in the Sox’s 5-1 win over the Minnesota Twins Sunday. He was perfect through the first four innings. The one run the Twins scored was on a throwing error by Pedro Ciriaco, leaving Lackey with no earned runs. And the sole reason for pitching only six innings was the three-hour rain delay. Had that not happened, maybe we would have seen him complete the game. Not bad for someone who over the past three years had been ruled a huge disappointment.

“If it goes longer than a half-hour, they usually won’t let you go back,” Lackey said of the delay after the game. “I was kind of moving around, going to throw a little bit in the pen, but we saw how big the storm was and John [Farrell] told me he really didn’t want to risk anything. So I was done probably 20, 30 minutes afterwards.”

After the infamous beer and chicken debacle, which Lackey was a part of, it’s good to see some fire in him.Yesterday’s performance lowered Lackey’s ERA to 3.31, and his ERA is just 1.58 in his last three starts. What’s more, he said that he wasn’t feeling his best.

“No, honestly, I’ve felt better the last couple of times,” said Lackey after the game. “I warmed up terrible today. And then I found some location when the game started.”

If Lackey can pitch like that on a bad day, I’m anxious to see what he can keep doing on his good days. It seems as though the John Farrell-Juan Nieves dream team has done a lot as far as whipping Lackey into shape goes. But no matter who or what is responsible for Lackey’s new-found groove, he’s certainly fitting right into his number three spot in the rotation.

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