Lackey pitched exceptionally well. He looked like his old self again. That’s usually the response whenever he pitches well, but that’s because his old self was just that good and we’ve been waiting not only to see him return to that form for maybe a game or two but rather to return to that form consistently. To the point where he takes the mound and we know exactly what we’re going to get from him. And have that be pure goodness.
He gave up only two runs on eight hits while walking zero and striking out a whopping twelve batters in seven innings. He gave up his first run in the first thanks to two singles, and he gave up his last run in the sixth when he allowed a solo shot to open the inning. The second and seventh were his only two one-two-three innings because of all those hits, but the fact that he muscled outs out of the Rockies via the K is admirable. He struck out three in the first, second, and fourth. He struck out one in the fifth, sixth, and seventh and none in the third. And he managed to do it all with ninety-eight pitches.
Think about how impressive that is. He gave up an average of about one hit per inning, and more than half of his outs were achieved with the strikeout. That should add up to a lot of pitches. But he kept his pitch count below one hundred because seventy-three of his ninety-eight pitches were strikes. Not only did he not walk anybody but he threw hardly any balls. That is the definition of efficiency. He made every pitch count, and on the occasion that he did give up a hit or when he was busy recording outs, it’s not like the batter stood there while Lackey struggled to find the strike zone. He knew exactly where the strike zone was and never lost sight of it. His command and control were amazing.
Tazawa pitched the eighth and gave up a solo shot to lead it off for Colorado’s third and final run. Uehara pitched the ninth and got the save.
In the meantime, we scored enough runs to win. We didn’t bury Colorado, but we won. That’s okay. Winning is nice, and we already buried them once this week.
Ellsbury led off the first with a double and scored on a single by Victorino. One out later, Victorino scored on a double by Papi, and one out later, Papi scored on a single by Nava.
Victorino and Pedroia led off the third with back-to-back singles, and Papi loaded the bases with a walk. Napoli singled in Victorino, and Pedroia scored on a sac fly by Nava. Admittedly, there was obviously a lot more we could have done with that opportunity. One third of the way into the game, we were finished scoring runs. But like I said, it was enough. We won, 5-3.