Lackey pounding the zone, getting results with curve early in Game 2

Offensively, the Cardinals are built similarly to the Red Sox. They're both patient clubs that work deep counts, but what St. Louis lacks in power they make up for with contact ability. They get the bat on the ball with the best of 'em.

In Game 2 of the World Series, Red Sox battery John Lackey and Jarrod Saltalamacchia appear to be combating the Cardinals lineup by simply pounding the zone and getting ahead in the count. A whopping 43 of his first 59 pitches have been strikes (72.9 percent), which includes a first pitch strike to 11 of 16 batters faced through four innings.

Lackey has also mixed in his curveball very well, throwing nine so far. Seven of those nine were strikes, including this swing and miss by David Freese:

The Red Sox right-hander definitely has the yakker working in Game 2. When you're pounding the strike zone like Lackey has been and you can turn to that curveball when ahead in the count, you're going to be successful. So far he's held the best offense in the National League to just one run -- it required a weird bounce off the wall to give Matt Holliday a leadoff triple -- in those four innings.

(GIF via SB Nation)

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for,,,... Full Bio

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