June 2, 2010

Lackey's Slump Continues

John Lackey has allowed 43 hits and 18 walks in his last five starts (30.1 innings, 6.23 ERA, .944 opponents OPS).

He has allowed 8 or more hits in 6 of his 11 starts this season.

At Red Sox Monster, Nick Underhill notes that Lackey has just about stopped throwing his slider, from 12.8% (2005-2009) to 5.2% in 2010. At the same time, his reliance on his cutter has jumped from 1.8% (career) to 38.3%.

I'm not sure where Underhill got the 38.3% figure -- Fangraphs has no cutter data for this year -- but Brooks f/x has Lackey throwing 37 cutters last night, more than any other pitch.

However, SoSher Savin Hillbilly writes:
About the 4-seamer thing--I think his velocity's down and that's causing PitchFX to mislabel a lot of his 4-seamers as cutters. The huge increase in cutters this year (35%) is almost the same as the decrease in 4-seamers (32%). Has he really changed his pitch selection that dramatically? Seems unlikely. If you go to his PitchFX page at Fangraphs and look at the relationship in velocity and (especially) horizontal movement between cutter and 4-seamer in 2007 and then 2010, it seems pretty likely that the 2010 "cutters" are not really cutters at all but relatively cutter-ish 4-seamers.
Lackey's curve is also getting pounded.

Before last night's game, it was mentioned quite a bit that John Lackey might come out of his pitching slump because he has pitched very well against "Oakland" -- 17-4, 2.86 in 30 career starts. Could there be a more worthless stat/factoid? I don't think so.

Those starts date back to 2002, when Lackey was facing David Justice (last played 7.5 years ago) or Brad Fullmer and Billy McMillon, who were both done after 2004. How could what Lackey did against those guys -- or Todd Walker and Marco Scutaro, who he faced in 2007 -- have anything to do with what he does against the 2010 A's? If TV and print people stopped and thought about what they were saying and typing, maybe they would see how moronic it was, and never do it again.

1 comment:

Philip said...

I'm really worried about his reaction, too. The apathetic response to the walks tells me he isn't trying to fix the problem.