John Lackey’s teammates learned all they needed to know about his toughness in 2011 when the Red Sox right-hander made 28 starts with an elbow that had probably needed Tommy John surgery for two years.
His numbers besides 12 wins were terrible. But he earned immeasurable respect by taking the ball every fifth day and doing what he could with what he had.

Lackey briefly gave his teammates a scare in last night’s 2-0 loss to the Houston Astros when he badly rolled his left ankle fielding the final out of the second inning before remaining in the game into the seventh and taking the tough-luck loss.

“There’s no question that he pitches with a lot of heart tremendous competitor never wants to come out of a game and tonight was another example of that” manager John Farrell said. “Unfortunately as it turns out he pitches on a day when we come out on the short end.”

The loss wasn’t Lackey’s fault. He left with a 1-0 deficit in the seventh and after an inherited runner scored finished with a line of six-plus innings eight hits two earned runs and 10 strikeouts.
For a few moments in the second it looked like his night would be done a lot sooner. Matt Dominguez chopped one in front of the plate that Lackey fielded between the mound and first. As he turned to throw Lackey rolled his left ankle completely. He went down in a heap as he recorded the out briefly put his head on the turf while writhing in a bit of pain and then hobbled down the dugout steps.