Despite popular perception, John Lackey wasn’t a total meatball artist last year. In 33 starts, Lackey went 14-11 with a 4.40 ERA. He led the Sox with 215 innings and struck out 156. Only 14 American League pitchers won more games than Lackey. So how come Lackey gets the Way Back Wasdin treatment everywhere he goes?
233 hits allowed – worst of nine-year career
72 walks – tied for worst of career
4.40 ERA – worst since 2004
105 ER allowed – tied for worst of career
99 ERA+ - worst since 2004
1.418 WHIP -- worst of career
.277 opponents average – second worst of career (by only .001)
.339 opponents on-base – tied for worst of career
.765 opponents OPS – second worst of career
.320 BABIP – second worst of career
358 Total Bases allowed – second worst of career (by only 3 bases)
5.1 RSI (Run Support While In the Game) – highest of career (excluding partial rookie season)
1.9 Wins Above Replacement – worst since 2003
0.3 Win Probability Added – tied for worst of career (with rookie season)
–1.3 Adjusted Pitching Runs – worst of career
16.8% of PA ended with K – second lowest/worst of career
8.9% of PA ended with extra-base hit – highest/worst of career
36% of all hits went for extra bases – highest/worst of career
21% of balls in play were line drives – second highest/worst of career
63% of pitches thrown for strikes – tied for lowest/worst of career
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln ...
It might also have something to do with the fact that Lackey allowed 233 hits and 72 walks. He put a ton of guys on base and got a lot of wins because the Sox offense gave him plenty of support when he pitched.
Fuckin’ A, Dan! Nice sabermetric logic! Sure, Lackey was a horse last year – lots of starts and innings pitched – but he “put a ton of guys on base”. The 233 hits allowed was the second-worst in the AL. But the reason he got a lot of wins was because the Red Sox scored lots of runs. So if Lackey allowed 4-6 runs, whether he got a win or a loss was entirely out of his control. He had to sit on the bench and hope his teammates bailed him out. Only two of his 14 wins in 2010 came in games in which he allowed more than four runs, but the logic is there. Could the CHB be embracing his inner Bill James? LOL!
Oh, and let’s not forget that sun-starved stat geeks insist wins are overrated.
Huh? You just used stat geek analysis to easily and quickly and logically explain how Lackey could “put a ton of guys on base” and still almost crack the Top 10 in wins. Then, with your VERY NEXT SENTENCE, you make fun of people who do what you just did. CHB's editor must be AWOL, or maybe Dano is paying tribute to William S. Burroughs by using his cut-up technique for piecing his column together. (Like a diabetic and his insulin shots, the CHB cannot go six hours without making a gut-busting crack about “stat geeks” and how they stay inside all day long, getting all tingly and excited playing with their numbers.)
He doesn’t make excuses about personal issues ... Francona speaks of Lackey as a "stand-up guy," and that was Lackey’s M.O. when he pitched for the Angels.
And sometimes his body language bothers teammates when they fail to make plays. That’s unfortunate and unnecessary. Lackey is thoroughly equipped to be a Sox leader, on and off the field.
Poor, unclear writing. Is it “unfortunate and unnecessary” that Lackey exhibits questionable body language on the field or is it “unfortunate and unnecessary” that his teammates get bothered by it? Whatever. Lackey is a total leader.
“If I had that  year in Anaheim, I’d have probably had a 3.60 [ERA], my normal deal," he said. “I’d have probably had less wins, though, because they didn’t score any runs.”
The Angels scored fewer runs (681) than the Red Sox (818) last year, so yes, Lackey likely would not have finished with 14 wins with the same performance in Los Angeles. That is Stat Geek 101. But if Lackey had the exact same year – same innings, same hits, walks, etc. – with another team, how would wearing a different uniform result in him allowing 19 fewer runs – which would lower his ERA from 4.40 to his "normal deal" of 3.60? The Angels were a better fielding team than Boston last year, but 19 runs better?
Another sign of spring: CHB has Jacoby Ellsbury in his sights already:
... would it have killed him to come here a couple of days early? ... Ellsbury stonewalls better than most. Maybe it comes from being a Scott Boras client. Or maybe the kid is just a natural. ...
Or maybe you are just a (natural) shit-stirring hack and a vindictive asshole.