Two runs on one walk and five strikeouts over more than seven innings. This is not the stuff a typical John Lackey start is made of, so when he not only provides that, but adds an RBI double to the mix, the Red Sox should win.
Somehow, though, even with Terry Francona slotting both Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz into the lineup, Lackey received no backup at all.
Gonzalez' single in the sixth proved to be the only hit between the two sluggers in eight at bats, providing one of just seven men the Red Sox managed to put on base all game long. That's only three more than they had managed against Cliff Lee, and Vance Worley is certainly no Cliff Lee.
Other than Josh Reddick and, yes, John Lackey, the Red Sox just couldn't come up with anything. While the low-scoring games of last week were largely the result of bad luck or unfortunate lineup construction, the Red Sox' offense has just plain disappeared these last two games.
John Lackey certainly had one of his best games of the season, but got in a little bit of trouble early, giving up a second-inning leadoff double to Shane Victorino which became the first run of the game when Raul Ibanez knocked Lackey's next pitch into center for a single.
From there, Lackey cruised through the first six innings, throwing strike after strike and tying the game with the aforementioned double. All it took to undo all his good work was one pitch, though, and not even a particularly bad one. Lackey's seventh inning curveball to Raul Ibanez was over the plate, but dipping low out of the zone. Ibanez went down and got it, however, slamming the ball over the wall in right to give the Phillies the 2-1 lead they would finish the game with.
The Red Sox are mired in their biggest slump since the one they dealt with when the season began. Now they'll need Jon Lester to play the part of the stopper as he takes the mound against Cole Hamels Thursday at 1:05 p.m.