This is probably the hardest choice the team has to make. John Lackey has performed better than the team hoped for when they signed him. His numbers for the season hold up to those of this overall career. The 37-year-old is 9-8 on the season, but opponents are batting .212 against him. Plus, his last few starts have been competitive. But, that is not the reason why he is needed in game four.
Lackey has an 8-5 record in the playoffs in his career, including two World Series championships. Oh, and he was the winning pitcher in the series-clinching games for both World Series. Additionally, in his 23 post season appearances, Lackey came out of the bullpen three times. This helps solidify him as the fourth starter in the playoff rotation.
Plus, Lackey is a bulldog as a competitor. Unless he is getting shelled, I want him on the mound.
Next: Odd man out?