10/07/08 3:20 AM ET
Tough luck follows Lackey in ALDS
Admirable performances against Sox result in two defeats
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
For the second time in as many seasons, the Angels lost to the Red Sox in the ALDS, but Lackey said there was no comparison between the two years."It's frustrating," Lackey said. "It's way different, this year from last year. They were better than us last year. They were not better than us this year. It's 100, 180 degrees different." Lackey's frustration came after he held the Red Sox to two runs in seven innings but was unable to get a victory. The Angels, facing Jon Lester, lost both of Lackey's starts in the series, even though the right-hander posted a 2.63 ERA. "Lackey pitched great the whole series," first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "He was impressive. We just didn't score enough runs for him." Lackey started the night with four scoreless innings, then gave up a leadoff single to Mark Kotsay in the fifth. With one out, Jason Varitek singled through the right side, putting runners at the corners. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a broken-bat grounder to second baseman Howie Kendrick, who fumbled the ball and had to throw to first base for the out. The first run of the game scored, while Varitek went to second and ended up scoring on a double by Dustin Pedroia off the Green Monster in left-center field.
"A broken-bat grounder and a ball that's a fly ball anywhere else in America," Lackey seethed, "and he's pumping his fist at second base like he did something good."Lackey got out of that jam by flagging down David Ortiz's smash back up the middle and then finished the night by holding the Red Sox scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings. "John really pitched a terrific ballgame," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "To beat a good pitcher like Lester or give yourself a chance, you have to pitch with him, and John did, for the most part. I thought he pitched a really strong ballgame." Torii Hunter's game-tying two-run single in the eighth inning spared Lackey a second loss, but what he wanted most was an Angels victory, and the Red Sox took that away from the Halos in the bottom of the ninth. "Lester pitched great," Lackey said. "Torii came up with a huge hit. We just couldn't finish it."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.