18 August 2011
So... Erik Bedard has three starts in the books now since coming to Boston at the trade deadline:
August 4 vs CLE - 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, ND
August 9 @ MIN - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, ND
August 16 vs TAM - 6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER (3 R), 0 BB, 6 K, L
Not great, but he's kept the Red Sox in those games. Against Cleveland, the bullpen let him down (side note: I'm soooo done with the Franklin Morales Experiment). In Minnesota, the bullpen held up and David Ortiz earned the Sox a win... but Bedard got the ND. And last time out, Jeff Neimann blanked a patchwork lineup for a complete game shutout... Bedard never had a shot at the W.
In short, Bedard has been consistent. I'd like to see him go 6 or 7 innings, but he doesn't walk batters (all 4 of his BBs came in one bad inning), he holds the opponent under 3 runs and he fans 5+ per start. If he keeps pitching like that, the Red Sox should win those games.
John Lackey, on the other hand, has been consistent in a different way. He's 6-2 in his last 9 starts and he's averaged 6 innings per try, but he's allowed 71 hits over 52.2 IPs and opponents are hitting .312 against him. The walks are down and Ks are steady, but he's relied on 6.7 RPG from the offense over that span...
Come playoff time, if he allows the Yankees or Rangers to hit over .300 against him, 6.7 runs may not be enough... especially since he'll be pitching in their house, not Fenway.
Bottom Line: Both guys have pitched okay against mediocre teams this month, but I don't feel great about either guy in a playoff game... and let's not even talk about a potential Game 7! That said, we'll need one of them to rise to the occasion in October. Lackey has postseason experience, but hasn't exactly blown anyone away in October... and with legit off-the-field issues messing with his head, I just don't trust him to get the job done.
Bedard has passed the "eye test," even if he hasn't collected a win yet. If I had to pick my No. 3 starter right now... and it surprises me to say this... I'd go with Bedard.
Who would you pick?
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