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Friday’s Red Sox-Dodgers matchups: John Lackey vs. Ricky Nolasco

08.23.13 at 11:21 am ET
By
John Lackey

John Lackey

As the anniversary of the Red Sox-Dodgers blockbuster approaches, the player with one of the Sox’ only remaining unwieldy contracts, right-hander John Lackey, will take to the mound to do battle with Los Angeles and right-hander Ricky Nolasco on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

Although Lackey is one of the best-paid players on the team — he’s making about $16 million this season — he’s earned more of it given his performance, which includes a 3.22 ERA, tops amongst Sox starters, as well as a 1.22 WHIP and 7.99 strikeout-per-nine-innings rate.

Lackey started his month with a pair of hiccups, but his last time out, Saturday against the Yankees, he was very effective in a 6-1 win. New York managed just one run as Lackey scattered six hits and three walks in 6 2/3 frames. The one strikeout he recorded was his lowest total in nearly two years, but he recorded 15 outs on grounders.

After sitting for extended periods of time while the Red Sox rallied in the bottom of the fourth and sixth innings, Lackey worked into a pair of jams but escaped mostly unscathed.

“He set the tone for us, particularly in the fifth inning after we scored the three runs, he’s in a second-and-third situation with no out and really minimized the damage,” manager John Farrell told the media after the game. “And I think as best as I could briefly describe it, he set the tone for us on the mound today, which we needed.”

Historically, Lackey pitches very well against Los Angeles, with a 1.89 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning in 10 games. The two Dodgers he may be most wary of, however, are former Red Sox — Carl Crawford (1.178 OPS, nine RBIs in 47 plate appearances) and Adrian Gonzalez (.967 OPS, four RBIs in 15 plate appearances).

Nolasco, meanwhile, hasn’t fared nearly as well against the Red Sox. In 14 1/3 innings spanning three starts, most recently a pair in June 2012, he has allowed 15 hits and 13 earned runs. Nolasco has shown good control, though, walking two compared to 10 strikeouts.

Los Angeles has treated Nolasco, who was traded there by the Marlins in early July, quite well. Since the move, Nolasco owns a 2.98 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in eight starts. Most recently, he limited the Phillies to two runs on five hits and a walk in six innings on Sunday.

Red Sox vs. Nolasco (RHP)

Shane Victorino (40 plate appearances): .162 BA/.205 OBP/.216 SLG, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts

Stephen Drew (22): .524/.545/1.190, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HR, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

David Ortiz (7): .250/.429/1.000, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Dustin Pedroia (5): .200/.200/.200

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (4): .250/.250/.250, 1 strikeout

Jonny Gomes (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Will Middlebrooks (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Daniel Nava (3): .667/.667/.667

Jacoby Ellsbury (2): .000/.000/.000

David Ross (2): .500/.500/1.000, 1 double, 1 RBI

Mike Carp and Mike Napoli have never faced Nolasco.

Dodgers vs. Lackey (RHP)

Mark Ellis (73 plate appearances): .258 BA/.361 OBP/.387 SLG, 8 doubles, 5 RBIs, 8 walks, 10 strikeouts

Carl Crawford (47): .467/.467/.711, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 2 HR, 9 RBIs, 1 strikeout

Nick Punto (24): .167/.167/.333, 1 double, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 strikeouts

Juan Uribe (20): .300/.300/.500, 4 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Andre Ethier (15): .308, .400, .385, 1 double, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Adrian Gonzalez (15): .429/.467/.500, 1 double, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Jerry Hairston (9): .333/.333/.778, 1 double, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

No other Dodgers batters have faced Lackey.

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