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Home » July 2011 Game CommentsJuly 2011 » Not Your Lackey

Not Your Lackey

Even Tim McCarver, who has not had many opportunities to observe John Lackey, felt compelled to comment on how the starter reacted to being pulled after five and two-thirds innings. As Lackey moped from the mound he shot an unfriendly glance back at his manager.

Many of Lackey’s teammates have seen him pull such a face. Marco Scutaro must have when he jammed his finger when fielding Johnny Damon’s grounder in the first, allowing the leadoff man to reach. Damon advanced to third on Ben Zobrist’s single to center and scored when Scutaro booted Casey Kotchman’s grounder up the middle. But it was Lackey who surrendered consecutive singles to Matt Joyce and B.J. Upton for two more runs in the first. Were it not for a 4-6-3 double play anchored by Scutaro, Lackey would have been in the showers without an inning to his name.

The Red Sox answered immediately in the top of the second, not too challenging task as James Shields seems to be the Rays’ version of Lackey. Jarrod Saltalamacchia worked a one-out walk and Josh Reddick launched his third home run of the season to bring the visitors within a run.

Shields unraveled further in the third, relinquishing a leadoff walk to Adrian Gonzalez, a single to Kevin Youkilis, and consecutive doubles to David Ortiz and J.D. Drew. With the tying, go-ahead, and insurance runs across the plate Shields got a visit from his pitching coach Jim Hickey and secured the next three outs without incident, but the Red Sox would not give up the lead.

Randy Williams, the most recent hurler to audition for left-handed reliever for the major league team, made his Red Sox debut with three outs split across two innings. The journeyman reliever cleaned up Lackey’s two on, two out mess in the sixth and then got the first two outs of the seventh, which included a pop out off the bat of Evan Longoria and striking out All-Star Matt Joyce. Quite a feat for a player whose Google image results don’t even show him as the first result.

Another Randy Williams is the founder and sifu (master) of Close Range Combat Academy, a global network of schools who train students in wing chun (insert Wang Chung joke here). The origins of wing chun attribute it to two women, one a monk who fled destruction of the Shaolin temple and her student, who needed to learn self defense to avoid forced marriage to a bandit.

If only there were a martial arts technique that could extricate the Red Sox from the five-year contract with Lackey.

Game 92: July 16, 2011
WinBoston Red Sox
W: John Lackey (7-8)
H: Randy Williams (1)
H: Daniel Bard (22)
2B: David Ortiz (24), J.D. Drew (6)
HR: Josh Reddick (3), Jacoby Ellsbury (13), Dustin Pedroia (13)
Tampa Bay Rays
L: James Shields (7-7)
2B: Sam Fuld (15)
3B: Casey Kotchman (2)
HR: Matt Joyce (13)

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