Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
It has not been a great year for John Lackey.
It has not, however, been as bad as one might think – especially lately.
Lackey is pitching his best baseball in August and September. He’s striking out hitters at a higher rate in the last six weeks – 8.7 per nine innings since Aug. 1 – than at any point this season. In his last six starts, dating back to a gem in Toronto in which he turned a two-run lead over to the bullpen in the ninth inning –– only to see Jonathan Papelbon give it all away –– he has struck out 39 and walked just 8 in 43 1/3 innings pitched.
His strikeout-to-walk ratio, below 1.5 for most of the season, is 3.3 since the All-Star break.
While Lackey's only won 3 games since the All-Star break, his ERA is about .80 lower than prior, with his WHIP locked in at 1.247 (opposed to 1.602 in the first half of the year). He's most certainly pitched better. Has he pitched anywhere near the level we'd expect with the paycheck he's cashing? I submit that he is not.
But that's not my problem with Lackey. My problems with him can be summed up in this quote of his, from this same article:
“Honestly, I think I could pitch the exact same next year and have a totally different result."
Shut up, John Lackey. Don't tell me that you're pitching is great, and that everything else is the problem. Even if you think that, and it's clear that you do, don't tell me that. Tell me that you're upset that you haven't produced up to your standards, and that next year you're going to dominate. Feed me that line of BS, and I'll head into the offseason giddy for next year. Just, for the love of God, stop telling us all how great you've been.
That is all.
On Page 2, We look at the catcher situation.