St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has announced that rookie right-hander Michael Wacha will face off against Red Sox right-hander John Lackey for Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday, reports Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
Wacha has been close to un-hittable all postseason, posting a 0.43 earned-run average and allowing just eight hits in 21 innings over three starts. The 22-year-old is now up to a career-high of 170 innings pitched on the year between the minors, the regular season and the playoffs, but doesn't seem to be giving any signs of running out of gas.
Wacha's confidence is likely high coming off his NLCS Most Valuable Player honors, but he'll still be in uncharted territory when he makes his World Series (and Fenway Park) debut Thursday night.
The juxtaposition of Lackey and Wacha is all-too-fitting: the last time Lackey got a chance to take the hill in the World Series was Game 7 in 2002, when -- as a rookie -- he led the Angels to their first championship. Lackey's made two starts so far this postseason, allowing four runs and striking out 14 in 12 innings of work.
Jon Lester and Adam Wainwright will take the hill in Game 1 on Wednesday.