BOSTON — It was safe to assume that Jon Lester would get the nod for Game 1 of the ALDS. The only question was which pitcher would take the ball in Game 2.
Red Sox manager John Farrell announced Wednesday that John Lackey will start Game 2 of the ALDS in Boston. The move wasn’t too surprising given how Farrell managed his rotation during the final week of the regular season, but it put to rest any debate over whether Clay Buchholz, who went 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA, would slide into the second spot now that he’s healthy.
While Buchholz was the more dominant pitcher, Lackey maintained his health for the entire season after a brief scare in his first start in Toronto on April 6. Farrell said that Lackey’s drastic home/away splits also played a key role in his decision, as Lackey will now start at Fenway Park while Buchholz will pitch Game 3 on the road.
“That’s a major factor in it,” Farrell said. “But we also set up the rotation in the final series of the year to take all that into account, including giving him a little bit of a breather. So, his home/road splits are pretty clear and he feels comfortable and confident pitching here in Fenway.”
Lackey went 6-3 with a 2.47 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 13 home starts this season. The right-hander went 4-10 with a 4.48 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 16 road starts.