The Sports Tonight crew discusses the Red Sox playoff rotation and debates whether John Lackey has (assuming Jon Lester takes the No. 1 spot) earned the second spot in the rotation.
The Red Sox are a franchise that buys heavily into statistics and trends, and the numbers make a compelling case for Lackey to toe the rubber at Fenway, or at least a case for why he shouldn't start on the road.
Lackey's home/road splits tell a tale of two pitchers. Lackey is 6-3 at home this season with a 2.47 ERA. On the road, he's 4-9 with a 4.39 ERA.
Boston finds itself in the unusual position of having a collection of capable pitchers for a playoff rotation.
Beyond Lester and Lackey, the Sox have Clay Buchholz, Boston's best pitcher by the numbers this season but in a much smaller sample size, and Jake Peavy, a veteran bulldog who still has shutdown stuff.
Lackey has been one of the great comeback stories of the year for the Red Sox in both his performance and his image.
"I don't know the man personally, all I know in my years of covering teams, the situation he was in almost every other athlete I've covered would've taken the money and left," said Gary Tanguay. "He didn't want to go out poorly and I don't think it's been talked about enough. He turned his season, he turned his career around."
Do you think Lackey has earned the No. 2 slot in the playoff rotation?