Yesterday's game was glorious. I won't rehash all of my reactions here (if you want them, check out the premier episode of my new podcast), but I will say that my favorite part of Game 1 was the team-first nature of the victory.
Sure, my favorite player is Dustin Pedroia; anyone who's spent two minutes with me or on this blog could tell you that. Yes, it was awesome that Pedey had the first hit in the Red Sox rally.
But the most incredible thing about yesterday was the most incredible thing about this team: it was truly a collaborative effort. Every Red Sox batter had at least one hit and one run scored. No Red Sox batter had a home run, and all that incredible production was the result of guys getting on base and trusting their compatriots to drive them in.
Jon Lester had an incredible start, and Junichi Tazawa and Ryan Dempster finished the game with barely a hiccup. Fenway aficionado John Lackey takes the mound tonight. The last time Lackey pitched in an ALDS, he took home the win - for the Angels, against Lester in 2009.
Once upon a time, before Tommy John surgery, before the chicken and beer debacle, John Lackey was lauded as a big-game pitcher. The Angels handed him the ball in their biggest moments, and he didn't let them down.
After a tough first few years in Boston, and the beginnings of redemption this season, John Lackey will climb the mound tonight looking to be that big-game guy once again. Earlier this season, I predicted a John Lackey resurgence... hopefully he'll continue to provide evidence for that point of view tonight.
And hopefully his teammates can duplicate some of the offensive fireworks from yesterday against Rays ace David Price. I have a good feeling about tonight.