BOSTON -- In his first World Series start since winning Game 7 in 2002 as a 24-year-old rookie with the Angels, John Lackey was the losing pitcher Thursday night.
But -- like most of his starts during the regular season, when he got precious little offensive support from his teammates and wound up finishing under .500 (10-13) -- he deserved a better fate.
He went 6 1/3 innings and allowed just five this and two walks with six strikeouts. He left the game with a 2-1 lead, a lead that the normally reliable Craig Breslow turned into a 4-2 loss to the Cardinals in Game 2.
When Lackey left, with two runners on, he walked off to loud ovation from the Fenway crowd. It was an ovation, said his manager, that he earned.
“I thought John Lackey threw the ball very well,” said John Farrell.
“Lackey was great,” said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. “That's exactly what you want your starting pitcher to do, to keep you in the ballgame like that. Unfortunately we let it slip away.”
“Losing the game is frustrating, for sure,” Lackey said. “We played a pretty good game. [We faced a] really good pitcher [in the Cardinals' Michael Wacha] and we had a chance there.
"But we’ll come back the next game and try it again.”
Asked if he felt unlucky, Lackey replied:
“I guess that’s kind of obvious. Yeah, unfortunately, I’ve had it happen a few times this year, so yeah."
But he quickly changed his tune.
"[Breslow] has been awesome for us this year. I can’t wait to see him get back out there, because he’s been so good for us and you can’t go wrong with putting that guy on the mound.
“At this point, it’s not about me. Who really cares who gets the win or loss next to their name? We’re trying to win four games, trying to win a ring.”