Turns out, John Lackey won't make his next start after all.
Lackey had been slated to pitch tonight against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Instead, the team announced moments before last night's game began that the embattled right-hander was bound for the disabled list with a strained right elbow.
Tim Wakefield will start in Lackey's absence. Reliever Scott Atchison was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket and allowed one run in 12/3 innings during last night's 8-7 come-from-behind win.
"There has been some tugging on that elbow," manager Terry Francona said of Lackey, who played catch before yesterday's game with fellow starter Jon Lester before a decision was made to shut him down. "Lack is more than willing to pitch through everything. The more we talked to the medical people, the more we talked to Lack, we took it out of his hands."
In his last two starts, Lackey has allowed 17 earned runs in 102/3 innings, leaving his ERA at 8.01. He has a 1.81 WHIP, and opponents are batting .317 against him.
Francona noted that Lackey's velocity has dipped recently but said the team noticed a similar pattern last season when he was healthy. Francona also said Lackey "felt really good" about the mechanical adjustments he had made during last Saturday's bullpen session with pitching coach Curt Young.
"It's just, if this was September, OK, maybe," Francona said. "We all believe in his will to fight through stuff. I don't think he was very happy about it because he's such a competitor. I think it's the right thing to do. I think we all do."
After allowing nine runs in Toronto last Wednesday night, Lackey alluded to other problems by saying "everything in my life sucks right now." He declined to elaborate, but in spring training, he revealed that his wife is being treated for breast cancer. Since then, he hasn't talked publicly about the situation.
Lackey starts DL stint
Boston Herald | May 17