By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
PHILADELPHIA -- John Lackey's start Wednesday night was leaps and bounds better than his last. After getting shelled in the rain last Wednesday, Lackey allowed just two runs over 7 23 innings in a losing effort.
"I felt pretty good,'' said Lackey, whose record dropped to 5-7. "I was locating a little bit of everything and mixing things up pretty well and gave us a chance.''
"I thought he was tremendous,'' said Terry Francona. "I thought he threw as good a breaking ball as we've seen. I think he felt the same way. He got us deep into the game, but we scored one run. That's a hard way to win. I thought he did terrific.''
Lackey walked one and struck out five while allowing eight hits.
"For the most part, since coming off the DL, I've thrown the ball pretty good,'' said Lackey. "I had one bad start in the rain and that's about it. I feel stronger than I did before (going on the) DL.''
Baseball analyst Peter Gammons, speaking on WEEI Wednesday, suggested that Lackey may require Tommy John surgery in August.
"You never know...I don't know,'' said Lackey. "What did it look like tonight? (Tommy John surgery) is a possibility for everyone in here. You throw that against the wall and see if it sticks. I think he straight made that up.''
GM Theo Epstein wouldn't confirm surgery being on the table, but parsed his words carefully.
"He was on the DL, obviously, for the elbow earlier in the year,'' said Epstein. "And I think it's been discussed publicly that he was treated with a shot and some rest, and that alleviated a lot of the symptoms to allow him to come back.
"With all our players, once you have an injury, especially a pitcher with an elbow or a shoulder, you monitor it constantly throughout the course of the year. It's just something that we're going to continue to monitor and make sure he's doing OK. He's taking the mound tonight, we'll watch him see how he's doing.
Pressed about the likelihood of surgery, Epstein again was careful in his response.
"You could say the same thing about every pitcher in baseball,'' Epstein said, "that every pitcher in baseball might have to have Tommy John surgery at some point. But, as I said, John had an elbow injury we're not hiding that. He had an elbow injury earlier in this year and he's had a history with some elbow issues in the past. The shot alleviated some of the symptoms, now it's our responsibility to monitor him and make sure those symptoms don't come back and make sure he's healthy enough to go out and pitch and pitch effectively. It's something as with all of our players that we monitor on a daily basis.''