Let’s not deny it. When it became apparent that Lackey was returning to the DL, I bet that it initiated quite the storm of I-told-you-soing from those who were absolutely convinced that he would never return to what he once ways. As it turns out, we can’t yet say that he has. But we can say that his return from the DL was an unmitigated success. Commencing initial sighs of relief.
He pitched six innings and gave up one run on five hits while walking two and striking out four. He threw only eighty-one pitches, fifty-six of which were strikes. The first inning was scary; after securing the first two outs, he gave up two consecutive walks and a single that scored the game’s first run. But he obviously settled right down after that. A single was his only blemish in the second, and his next three innings were one-two-three. He gave another big scare in the sixth by giving up three consecutive singles with one out but managed to escape the jam unscathed. Needless to say, I think that that was John’s cue to bring Mortensen, then Uehara, then Bailey for the next three frames, respectively.
While the Astros were busy getting frustrated by Lackey, we were busy getting busy at the plate. Ellsbury grounded out to lead off the first but then Nava doubled and scored on a single by Papi. We were silent in the second and third, but we started the fourth with two back-to-back singles, both of which turned into runs on a triple by Drew. Nava reached on a fielding error to begin the fifth and scored on a double by Pedroia, who scored on a double by Carp two outs later. We went down in order in the sixth, and then Nava and Papi were at it again; Nava singled to lead off the seventh and scored on a double by Papi.
All told, we walked twice and picked up eleven hits, five of which were for extra bases. Nava, Papi, and Carp all had multi-hit games. And though the Astros got seven hits by the time the game was over, they didn’t get the win. That went to us with a final score of 6-1. We are now eighteen and seven on the season, comparable to our incredible start in 2002. Ladies and gentlemen, we are the proud owners of the best record in all of Major League Baseball.