This is something he failed to do last time, as he was tossed after only two pitches to Rangers lead-off man Ian Kinsler. The first was behind Kinsler. The second hit him. It was a confusing circumstance that was never fully explained.
Basic reason would tell you that a major league pitcher, even one coming off the disabled list as Lackey was, could not miss, that bad, twice in a row. However, there was also little conceivable reason for Lackey to go after Kinsler.
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In any case, the native Texan will get another shot at the team tonight as he faces Dustin Nippert in Anaheim. Nippert will be making his first start of the season, and his first appearance for the Rangers since being sidelined with a back injury in spring training.
Nippert was originally slated to make the roster as a reliever when camp ended in March.
Instead, he will make his debut tonight as a starter in place of Vicente Padilla, who was pushed back due to a strained right shoulder.
Lackey will likely be the wild card in this match-up.
He has settled in, somewhat, his ERA falling almost two full runs—from 6.61 to 4.70—from June the tenth. Manager Mike Scioscia, speaking on Lackey’s last performance against the Orioles said, “His stuff was the best I’ve seen in a few years.”
Lackey went eight innings, surrendering only four hits and two runs, a 5-2 win.
But the Rangers pose something of a puzzle to the big right hander.
Lackey is 10-10 over his career against Texas, with a 5.79 ERA.
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