John Lackey Throws for Second Time, On Track to Pitch in Live Game Soon

John Lackey Throws for Second Time, On Track to Pitch in Live Game SoonBOSTON — For the second straight week, John Lackey threw a
live batting practice in front of an audience — his teammates.

Before Thursday's game against the Yankees, Lackey tossed 25
pitches to slugger Mauro Gomez. From Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine's point of
view, the hurler showed significant progress.

"[He] felt
even better than he did last time, and looked better than he did last
time," Valentine said. "No chance of him pitching here. But he’s
looking forward to pitching a couple of innings in the Fall League in
Arizona."

The
team's decision to assign Lackey to pitch in the instructional league isn't
attributed to his physical status. Rather, the Red Sox want Lackey to enter the
2013 season with confidence in his surgically repaired elbow.

"It's
been a goal of his [to pitch this season]," Valentine said. "You
always want to be able to reach your goals. He looks good, he feels good. To
check that off, I think, would be a good thing for him to do. He's been right
on schedule. He's made every bullpen session. He's made every weight session.

"You
know, he's going to throw a little flat ground before he throws next time,
which will be a little two inning, he'll pitch like a simulated inning and sit
down. He'll come out and pitch another one. He and Randy [Niemann] have had a
schedule for months now and he’s been right on."

He
took another step on Thursday.

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