The Boston Red Sox are struggling to score runs in the early part of the 2014 season, which is typically what occurs when you fail to hit with runners in scoring position. When your lineup is not in sync, sometimes a member of the starting rotation can produce a lock-down performance that invigorates the entire team. John Lackey provided such a service on Monday night against the Texas Rangers.
Lackey is not considered the ace of the Red Sox rotation, but he sure did pitch like it against the Rangers at Fenway Park. Lackey went seven strong innings for his second win of the young season, allowing only one unearned run while striking out five. It was just the type of lift needed for a Red Sox club that was coming off a three-game home sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers and were looking for their first win at Fenway this year.
The Red Sox did get that elusive home victory, with Lackey thoroughly dominating the Rangers. This impressive performance was an unfortunate necessity for the Red Sox, who once again had problems hitting with any consistency, stranding 11 runners in total. They did manage to score five runs, but three of them came in the bottom of the eighth when the Red Sox put the game away. While Lackey was on the mound, the game remained tight and low-scoring.
Lackey experienced quite the career renaissance last year, bouncing back from a disastrous 2011 season and subsequent elbow surgery to produce solid numbers while contributing to the Red Sox’ World Series title. He appears to be picking up right where he left off last season, and clearly belongs in the circle of trust for teammates and fans alike.