Since coming to this site to write about all things Red Sox, criticism directed toward John Lackey has become one of my favorite topics.
Lackey rebounded from Tommy John surgery to regain his previous form as a top of the rotation starter this season, yet it is still not enough for some fans. They are still waiting for Lackey to redeem himself after taking a big free agent contract and getting injured. I still don’t get it.
It seems like no matter what the guy does it’s not enough for those Red Sox fans forever intent on holding his five year, $85 million contract against him.
They look at his 10-13 record, despite a 3.52 ERA, and want to see more. They still talk about the chicken and beer fiasco and how he’s a bad clubhouse influence despite reports to the contrary.
But Lackey will have a chance today in Game 2 of the ALDS to finally shut the critics up for good. Beat the Rays and ace lefty David Price today and the Red Sox will take a commanding 2-0 series lead. If that doesn’t redeem him in the eyes of his critics, what will?
If Lackey helps put the Sox up 2-0 today and sends the Rays to the brink of elimination, then the many holdouts on the anti-Lackey train should finally admit that when healthy, this guy is a very good pitcher.
And even if he doesn’t win, they should still realize that the Sox wouldn’t be where they are today without the contributions Lackey has made this season.