Lucky Lackey?

Before the season began, I predicted John Lackey would win 18-20 games in 2011. Not, in my opinion, because he was the Red Sox ace– I vaguely remembered some guys named Lester, and Beckett, and Buchholz, who was lucky in 2010 but compared to Lackey was better– but because something told me Lackey would have a ton of run support. He won’t win 20 this season, and no one can confuse him with an ace, even to the degree Rick Helling was confused with an ace for the 1998 Rangers for winning 20 despite a 109 ERA+, but when it comes to the Red Sox offense, I wasn’t exactly wrong either.

Lackey’s 2011 numbers after beating the Yankees at Fenway last night:

10-8, 6.14 ERA, 110 IP, 137 H, 15 HR, 32 BB, 76 K, 0 CG (he had none in 33 starts in 2010 as well), one elbow injury (hence the low total of 110 IP)

His 6.14 ERA is second worst in the majors (minimum 100 IP) to J.A. “synonymous with fortune or chance” Happ.

His average game score of 42.6 is third worst in the majors behind Happ and Joel Piñeiro.

His WHIP of 1.54 is tied for fifth worst (Happ and Piñeiro are first and second).

Opponents are batting .300/.364/.478, meaning he turns the average batter into Jason Kubel (or Hunter Pence, to be purely 2011 Phils-centric).

He’s only averaging 5.79 innings per start.

And he’s BABIP-unlucky, with a .324 that’s second highest to my World Series pick’s ace-in-waiting Zach Greinke.

AND he’s 10-8– because the Red Sox score 9.25 runs per game when he starts, second in the majors only to the Yankees’ Ivan Nova (a whopping 9.82 runs per start).

With a SIERA of 4.19 (career 4.07) and an xFIP of 4.51 (career 4.05), he’s not quite as horrendous as his 2011 numbers indicate, but he’ll hardly be Mr. Popular in Red Sox Nation without a monster postseason.

But don’t ask me. I picked the other Sox.


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