John Lackey is probably feeling pretty frustrated right now. Last night was just the latest of his quality starts in which he received little run support. Jarrod Saltalamacchia had plenty of praise for Lackey after the game. Salty told reporters that all it really came down to was one pitch, according to NESN. That one pitch was a solo shot to for Red Sox Adrian Beltre. Outside of that, Saltalamacchia said Lackey was really good.
I'll have to take his word for it. I was paying more attention to the Bruins, but for the few fleeting moments I had the Red Sox on Lackey looked like the guy we paid big bucks for. He just hasn't been getting consistent run support. Of course, part of it might have been the fact that the bats pounded out 17 runs on Tuesday and had nothing left in the tank, or it could have just come down to Lackey getting out pitched. Like I said, I was paying more attention to the Bruins, so I can't say too much about the latter, but I will say this: Tight games like that are almost always decided by pitching, so it was probably some of both. I will also say that a big night with the bats is usually followed up by a lackluster performance because there is nothing left. Whatever the reason, Lackey got zero run support on a night when he clearly brought his A game. That's usually pretty frustrating as a pitcher. And this isn't a new thing for Lackey. He's only given up 4 earned runs in his last 4 starts, so the trend of him not getting run support is not new to last night.
Make no mistake - Lackey has been a much different pitcher then the guy who pitched in 2011, when he had his fair share of struggles. Maybe being injured for a whole year helped. But whatever the case may be, he looks more John Lackey from the Angels, even if his record doesn't quite show it. The point is, he deserves every bit of praise Salty had for him after the game last night.