John Lackey has blinked first in the pitchers' duel that has dominated the first few innings of Game 2 of the 2013 World Series, allowing the St. Louis Cardinals to take a 1-0 lead after Matt Holliday's leadoff triple.
So far, MIchael Wacha has been every bit as good as advertised. Overpowering with his heat, and with a changeup that seems too fast to die off like it does, the Red Sox are lucky to even have a hit so far, only coming in the bottom of the third on a Jacoby Ellsbury blooper to center.
John Lackey has not been quite as dominant, allowing hits in each of the first two innings before picking up his first 1-2-3 frame. His curveball has been working very well the first time through the order as well, suggesting that we could be in for a long scoreless battle right up until the top of the fourth. There, Matt Holliday took the second pitch he saw--a 92 MPH fastball that he had swung through for strike one--and slammed it into dead center field, missing a homer only thanks to the unique contours of Fenway Park's triangle. With Jacoby Ellsbury misplaying the carom, Holliday reached third with no outs in the inning.
Holliday would be held at third for at least one out thanks to this bit of defensive excellence from Dustin Pedroia:
But a more routine ground ball that forced him to come in onto the grass was enough to bring Holliday home. If there's a plus for the Red Sox, it's that they have forced Wacha's pitch count up a bit. But now the pressure is on to respond.
Read more Red Sox:
- This is it: An oral history of the Red Sox' season so far
- Xander Bogaerts: The next Red Sox superstar
- Xander Bogaerts, Michael Wacha prove the future is now
- With Jose Dariel Abreu gone, will the Red Sox stick with Mike Napoli?
- The history of Red Sox - Cardinals World Series