24 August 2011
John Lackey entered last night game in Texas with a 2-4 record and a 7.00+ ERA against the Rangers, dating back to the start of 2008.
Needless to say, I wasn't expecting a gem.
Well, we didn't get one, but we did get a classic John Lackey outing: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
... and 11 runs of offense.
At this point in the season, you have to admit that Lackey battles through each and every outing. You may not like his antics on the mound or his 5.98 ERA, but he fights to get through 6+ innings and he generally keeps the Red Sox in the game... but that's because the Red Sox are a Top 3 offense in the MLB.
Lackey has essentially shaved two points off his ERA since July 1st (7.47/5.98), but don't let that or his 12-9 record fool you... he's pitching better, but not well.
He's 7-2 in his last 10 starts, but he's tallied just 2 Quality Starts (6.0+ IP, 3 or less ER) and the offense has scored 7.2 RPG over that span. That's enabled the Red Sox to overcome his 5.02 ERA and his 7.8 hits per game during this stretch of "improvement" from Lackey. The Sox even scored big in two of his three "non-wins," but took losses anyway (7-9 vs TOR on 7/4, 6-9 loss vs CLE on 8/1) thanks to the two worst outings of Lackey's last ten.
Bottom Line: The pitching match-up from last night (Lackey v Matt Harrison) could very well be a matchup we see in the playoffs... but I don't trust Lackey to hold the Rangers to 4 runs or less again.
Maybe I'm being to negative. Maybe I should just be happy that we have a great offense. You tell me...