Lackey changed man since last Series start

BOSTON -- The chance to start Game 7 of a World Series is something only 72 pitchers have done in major league history. Red Sox pitcher John Lackey is one of them, leading the then-Anaheim Angels to a Series title during his rookie season in 2002.

What will he take from that start heading into Game 2 of the 2013 World Series Thursday night?

“Not a whole lot,” Lackey said. “That was 11 years ago. That I’m old, I guess.”

Sure, Lackey may be 35 and a seasoned veteran now but this year he’s pitched a lot like the young buck who held Barry Bonds and the rest of the San Francisco Giants to one run on four hits in five innings. This season saw Lackey post a 3.52 ERA and allow only 179 hits, both the third-lowest totals in his 10 full years as a major league starter.

If anything, Lackey thinks he’s a more versatile pitcher than the 24-year-old that won it all.

“More options. I was pretty much a two-pitch pitcher back then,” Lackey said. “I’ve got more things I can go to, more ways I can go about getting people out if one thing is not working.”

Lackey has won both of his starts this postseason, allowing four runs in 12 innings. All four runs came in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Rays. In the ALCS, he outdueled Justin Verlander, 1-0, in Game 3.