Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day 94: Dare I Call John Lackey the Current Ace?

At the start of this season, no one knew quite what the Red Sox pitching staff would bring. Especially after posting dismal stats in 2012 where they finished 27th out of 30 teams in the Major Leagues.  They concluded the season 69-93 with a team ERA of 4.70. Did I mention it was dismal?

Needless to say, this season, to date, they're a hell of a lot better. The team record is 51-34 with a 3.88 ERA, currently sitting #12 in baseball. In April alone, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and Felix Doubront combined for a 12-0 record. And though Buchholz is currently on the DL, he still owns the best record on the team—an impressive 9-0 with a stingy 1.71 ERA.

Jon Lester had a tough May and struggled through a lot of June, but his record is nothing to be ashamed of at 8-4. The real surprise for me is John Lackey. After missing all of 2012 recovering from Tommy John surgery, he struggled a bit through April and May, posting a 3-5 record. My expectations were low.

I'm not going to lie—I've never been a big fan of Lackey. I've always thought, in general, his attitude sucked and he consistently fails to impress me during his time here in Boston. Until this season. I'm not sure if it's the new elbow, the new manager or just a new all around attitude, but I'm seeing shades of the old John Lackey. The Lackey who scared the bejeeezus out of me when the Sox faced him. He has been the glue holding this rotation together while Buchholz recovers and Lester tries to pull himself together.

Lackey has won three of his last four starts and the no decision was crap—Andrew Bailey blew the save. Shocker. He has given up two runs or less in all four starts and struck out 27 total batters. His 2.81 ERA is second lowest of the starters behind Buchholz. Color me impressed. And that's saying a lot considering my pre-existing bad feelings for the big righty.

If Lackey can keep up the strong outings and Buchholz can get better (and stop sleeping wrong) and Lester can get rid of the yips, I'd say the Sox have a pretty good chance of continuing on their current path.

PS. Dear First Place Red Sox... Please, please, pleeeease don't blow it!!

No comments:

Post a Comment