These next couple of games are big. Do the Sox slip a little further back before the break, or creep a little closer? Lester and the bats did their part last night to keep the race tight, now it’s Lackey’s turn. It’s no secret around here that I was not a fan of the 80+ million-dollar deal to bring Lackey here, nor have I been overwhelmed since his arrival.

Since his six shutout innings on opening day against the Yanks, Lackey has been unable to keep opposing teams off the scoreboard. He is almost always in trouble (127 hits and 40 walks in 108 innings) and has given up four or more earned runs in 6 of his 17 starts. He has just two wins on the road, and he’s been terrible in day games: 1-3 with a 5.74 ERA.

So the numbers don’t look great for John Derran Lackey, which gives him even more of an opportunity to shine. Strap ’em on, put on the big pants, and shut down the crappy Canucks.