The Boston Red Sox head home for Game 6 of the 2013 World Series with a chance to clinch their third Major League title in less than a decade. It’s an impressive feat, to be sure, and it’s one that may have had the opportunity to happen had it not been for the gentleman that will be on the bump for the Sox on Wednesday night.
There was a time when folks questioned whether or not John Lackey’s career was over. Not that those questions were not valid. His first year in Boston was one plagued by massive inconsistency, as he put together one of the worst seasons, if not the worst season, by a starter in the history of the Red Sox organization.
This year, though, Lackey has been a revalation. The Red Sox have a solid rotation top to bottom, though they don’t have anyone that’ll blow you away like some of the other teams throughout baseball. Nonetheless, Lackey has at least worked his way into the Cy Young conversation, even if he won’t take home the hardware.
The success of John Lackey throughout the 2013 season really was something to watch. He showed a renewed focus and has clearly been pitching while in the best shape of his career. He pitched to a 3.52 ERA, while surrendering a career low 74 earned runs, striking out 161 hitters, and walking a career low 40.
What started in the regular season as carried over into the playoffs. He didn’t allow a run in one start in the American League Championship Series, before going out in Game 2 of the World Series and pitching into the eighth, and allowing three earned. He even made an appearance out of the bullpen.
Lackey heads into Wednesday night with an opportunity to create the ultimate comeback story. If he comes out as strong as he was in Game 2 of this World Series, he has an excellent chance of putting the Red Sox over the top, and making the incredibly short-timed transition from goat to legend in Beantown.
Whether or not this success will carry over into the future remains to be seen, but at the very least, we’ve seen a resurrection almost overnight from John Lackey.