John Lackey Shuts Down Lifeless Red Sox

This is why I put very little stock in how teams and players are playing heading into the postseason.

In John Lackey’s last three starts of the regular season, he gave up 21 hits and 12 runs in 12 innings pitched. Last night in Game One of the American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox, Lackey looked like Ed Walsh reincarnate (it’s an obscure reference, but go look him up on Baseball-Reference.com).

Lackey dominated the Red Sox

Lackey dominated the Red Sox

Lackey completely shut down the Red Sox for seven and a third innings in the Los Angeles of Anaheim’s 5-0 victory. Lackey scattered four hits, struckout four and gave up zero runs in those seven and a third innings of work.

Was Lackey that dominant or were the Red Sox just lifeless last night? I think it was a combination of both. Listen, any great pitching performance will make any offense look lifeless.

However, I thought the Red Sox were a step behind the Angels all night.

For those of you who don’t watch the Red Sox on a regular basis, here is something you should know. With their offense–it’s all or nothing.

If one guy or two guys get shutdown, the whole team is going down with the ship. Which is really odd considering that the Red Sox have Jason Bay hitting sixth and JD Drew hitting eighth. Bay and Drew were one and two amongst AL outfielders in OPS in the regular season.

Last night, the whole team went down with the ship.

Outside of Lackey, there were two other stars of the games for the Angels. The first other star was, of course, Torii Hunter. Hunter delivered the big blow of the game with a three-run homerun in the bottom of the fifth against Jon Lester.

The way the Red Sox were swinging the bats, you kind of got the feeling that the three runs would be all the Angels would need.

The second, other star of the game for the Angels was Bobby Abreu. Both innings in which the Angels scored (the fifth and seventh) involved Abreu walks. He worked the count all night, saw a game high 25 pitches and walked all four times he was up last night.

Game Two is tonight at 9:37 ET. Is this a must win game for the Red Sox? I  think it is. It will be very difficult to win three games in a row versus the Angels, and in two of those games you have uncertainty with Clay Buchholz and Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound.

One last note on this game. I am not one to blame umpire of referees for losses. It’s silly and just more of an excuse to blame the umps or refs. Well, unless it was the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings back in 2002. We all know what went on there, but that is another story.

Did the umps help the Red Sox in this game? Absolutely not. They were not the reason the Red Sox lost. However, CB Bucknor should not be umpiring a playoff game.

How is this guy umpiring a playoff game? He is universally known as the worst umpire in baseball. As Peter Gammons said on Mike and Mike this morning, Bucknor looked “overmatched.”

Never a good thing for an umpire to be during a playoff series.

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One Response to “John Lackey Shuts Down Lifeless Red Sox”

  1. Tom Spirakis Says:

    Buckner’s call was terrible but what was Lowell doing. He made a nice play then stopped to stare at the ball in his hand before making a bad throw. The runner should have been called out but still get rid of the ball!

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