Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Lackey loses control

Posted by Bill Koch on July 11, 2010

John Lackey

It’s time for John Lackey to stop hiding behind his 9-5 record.

It’s time for This Manager to stop insisting that Lackey competes well and gives the Boston Red Sox a chance to win every time he takes the mound.

It’s time to start thinking – and dreading – that we have to watch another 54 months of this overrated, overpaid, underperforming righthander with mediocre stuff and questionable character to match.

Lackey seemed to hit rock bottom in Boston’s 9-5 loss to Toronto on Saturday, but there’s no reason that he can’t get worse. He’s been in steady decline for at least three years, but that didn’t stop the Red Sox from handing him a ridiculous five-year, $82.5-million contract in the offseason. There was talk that Boston would have three aces with Lackey, Jon Lester and Josh Beckett. That seems an insane idea at this point. In fact, Lackey’s wife remains the only reason that we’re glad to have him in Boston. We’ve said as much here at Ramble On since the day he signed with the Red Sox.

Yes, Lackey is 9-5 on the season. This Manager is electing to spin this toward the bottom line – wins and losses. He’s wrong as usual, because make no mistake about it – if Boston is fortunate enough to make the postseason, Lackey will be a loser in the postseason and beyond with these numbers. He is currently establishing new career worsts in just about every relevant pitching category including ERA (4.78), ERA+ (93), WHIP (1.60), hits per nine innings (10.8), walks per nine innings (3.7), strikeouts per nine innings (5.4) and strikeouts to walks ratio (1.48).

This isn’t exactly a new thing with Lackey. He’s been in decline ever since he made his lone All-Star team in 2007, and the numbers here prove it. He’s a two-pitch guy whose fastball is slowing down and becoming more hittable. His curveball rolls over the plate and can’t be considered a true out pitch at the Major League level. He’s never developed a change-up or any other reliable third pitch. He doesn’t have any options while trying to retire lefthanded hitters.

What we see now is a guy who begs home plate umpires for close pitches, whines at This Manager every time he’s taken out of a game and shows up his fielders when they fail to come up with a spectacular play to bail him out of trouble. Watch Lackey’s body language during his next start and you’ll see him do all of these things. It’s an insult to his fellow professionals and the Red Sox organization. He did the same thing in Anaheim and was indulged the whole time – this behavior isn’t changing anytime soon, and neither is Lackey’s very average stuff. We’ve got more than four years of dreadfulness to watch when he toes the rubber every fifth day.

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2 Responses to “Lackey loses control”

  1. […] a hot streak when Boston is giving this man the ball and sending him to the hill every fifth day. His 10-6 record couldn’t be any more fraudulent, and he’ll be further exposed when he makes his next start and at Yankee Stadium and takes his […]

  2. […] Fate dictated that John Lackey would start this game. The most disappointing member of the 2010 Red Sox was the only fitting man to preside over their funeral, and he did it in typical Lackey fashion. He […]

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