John Lackey has proven he can continue to be an excellent MLB pitcher even after Tommy John surgery. As the regular season nears a conclusion for the Boston Red Sox and the soon-to-be crowned American League East Division champs get ready for the playoffs, they have to feel confident with Lackey on the staff as they get ready for the playoffs.
Pitching wins playoff games and Lackey, at 10-12 with an ERA of 3.44, has been steady all season. There are times he should have won games but the Red Sox haven’t given him run support. That’s something they’ll have to do a steadier job of in the playoffs. Pitchers can dominate in playoffs but the Red Sox can’t expect Lackey or any of their other pitchers to shut every down in October.
But he can give them some excellent performances when they need him.
Lackey struggled twice against the New York Yankees earlier this month. He’s usually been strong all season in his strikeouts to walks ratio.
It was quite the turnaround from the 2011 season when Lackey struggled in 28 starts at 12-12 with an ERA of 6.41.
It was hard to say what he could accomplish for the Red Sox pitching staff in his comeback from serious surgery. In his mid-30s, it appeared that Lackey should maybe call it a career and do something else. The Red Sox have to be grateful that he decided to stick with it and give it all that he had this season. His performance has been a bonus for Boston in its drive to the divisional title.
He’s had quite a success story in what’s been a remarkable year for the Red Sox this season. It’s not over yet.