Sports

John Lackey is poster boy for redemption

Mike Napoli and John Lackey.
Mike Napoli and John Lackey.The Boston Globe

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DETROIT — John Lackey is the poster boy for Team Redemption.

Nobody was more loathed coming into this season. Lackey got blamed for chicken and beer. He got blamed for Theo Epstein’s bloated payroll. He was blamed for the collapse of 2011.

John Lackey was poison. He was overpaid, overweight, churlish, and a bad example for the Sox’ young pitchers. His five-year, $82.5 million contract, signed in December 2009, signified the beginning of the decay of the Red Sox.

Now everything has changed, and Tuesday at Comerica Park, Lackey had his finest hour in a Boston uniform. He beat the Detroit Tigers, 1-0, in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. He outpitched Justin Verlander, a former Cy Young Award winner and Most Valuable Player.

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