It's also the very pinnacle of the John Lackey Redemption Tour. You all know the drill: Lackey was reviled by fans even before he disappeared for the disastrous 2012 campaign, and this year has been one for the ages for him.
Sure, his win-loss record is less than glamorous, but he also got almost no run support all season. Even as fans have come around (though there are a significant number of hold-outs, for some understandable reasons), Lackey's teammates have chimed in with their perspective: Lackey is the consummate teammate.
Lackey certainly is no stranger to big moments: sure, his last chance at clinching a World Series was eleven years ago, but he made it happen. He came in on Monday in the eighth inning and completed the bridge to Koji Uehara, on a day when he was only scheduled for a side session.
Lackey's home-away splits are striking, and the numbers bode well for a history-making start tonight. I can't wait.