July 5, 2011

Buchholz Frustrated, Will See Back Specialist; Lackey Sucks

Clay Buchholz has been on the disabled list with a sore back since June 17. There had been some hope that he could return to pitch in the current Blue Jays series, but that timetable was then moved to after the All-Star break.
I've been sitting out for two and a half weeks and getting a little miserable with it. ... It felt like it was getting better for a while. Started doing some treatments on it. It's not going down, but it's sort of staying the same. That's what we're looking at. ... I have talked to [Beckett] about it. It's definitely not the same thing [as his injury], but his advice was you definitely can't go out there and pitch with a hurt back. It's one of the parts of the body that you use the most when you're pitching. It's definitely got to be better to be able to go and compete and not hurt yourself any more. ... It's nothing up here [pointing to his shoulder]. ... My arm's going to be rested, so whenever my back allows me to go out there and throw, I'll be better than I was when this thing happened.
Buchholz will see Dr. Craig Brigham, a back specialist in North Carolina, later this week. Terry Francona: "Really well thought of guy. I actually saw him a couple years ago myself. He does a lot of stuff with the NFL."

Red Sox Starters, Games with 6+ Earned Runs Allowed
John Lackey        5 in 13 starts
Jon Lester         1 in 17 starts
Tim Wakefield      1 in 10 starts
Daisuke Matsuzaka  1 in  7 starts
Alfredo Aceves     1 in  4 starts
Josh Beckett       0 in 16 starts
Clay Buchholz      0 in 14 starts
Andrew Miller      0 in  3 starts
John Lackey        5 in 13 starts
All Others         4 in 71 starts
WEEI's Alex Speier notes that, discounting a start in which Lackey was ejected after hitting the first batter of the game and a two-inning playoff tuneup at the end of 2009, yesterday was the shortest start of his career.

Overall, my arm felt pretty good ... I just didn't locate well enough. ... I gave up some soft ones that fell in on some good pitches and made some bad pitches that got hit hard. It kind of all added up to bad.
Lackey has a 9.17 ERA in seven starts at home this year. ... Among pitchers with at least 70 innings this season, Lackey has the highest ERA (7.47) by more than a full run.

Bob Ryan, Globe:
He has made 31 Fenway starts. He has given up five or more earned runs 11 times. Better than one out of three? Yup. And it's getting worse. Yesterday's outing was the sixth time he’s given up five or more earned runs in 13 starts this season. His next scheduled start is Saturday night against the Orioles. If you're a ticket holder, don't say I didn't warn you.


FenFan said...

Lackey Sucks

I don't know if you could have been any more succinct in that assessment

Anonymous said...

The guys wife has cancer....leave the poor guy alone

allan said...

The guys wife has cancer....leave the poor guy alone

One thing this guy is is not poor. He is quite rich and can give his wife the best care possible in the entire world. He is extraordinarily fortunate in that sense, since hundreds of millions of people do not have that luxury. (That does not necessarily lessen the impact of the news and the pain of dealing with whatever the results might be, of course.)

Also, Lackey said this spring that they had caught the disease at a very early stage and his wife "was doing really good". Plus, many players have serious medical issues with either their wife or child(ren) - Drew and Posada immediately come to mind.

Lackey is not a very good or consistent pitcher. His wife's health doesn't change that. It was a huge mistake to sign him and he is proving the truth of that statement nearly once a week.

Kyle said...

Lackey has to be injured. How many more starts until he is placed on the 60 day DL? This move would be the best the Sox make all season.

laura k said...

The guys wife has cancer....leave the poor guy alone

If Lackey is unable to pitch effectively because his wife has cancer (an assumption I seriously doubt), he needs to request a medical or personal leave.

I guarantee he is not the only person on the Red Sox or any other team who has concerns relating to the well-being of their family. But he is either able to do his job or he's not. And if he's not, he shouldn't be doing it.

Philip said...

Lackey's strikeout rate has been dropping since '06. His walk rate has been rising since '07. Right not, he's not striking anyone out (his 5.60 rate is 93rd out of 132 pitchers with at least 60 IP, and lest you think he could be getting more: his SwStrk% is 111th), he's walking too many guys (his 3.36 rate ties him for 101st out of that same group of 132) and his GB% has plummeted to 37.5%. He really cannot do anything useful

laura k said...

Lackey has to be injured.

You may be right. And if you are - if Lackey is injured and has not told the team - we should see that in context of certain media's treatment of Ellsbury's injury. That constant public heckling is exactly why players hide their injuries, then end up hurting their team.

When those small-minded, jealous, spiteful, unethical, irrelevant hacks call out players on their injuries (whether directly or by comparison with other players), demanding players suck it up and play hurt, this is what happens. The team suffers and it's the media's fault as much as anybody's.


johngoldfine said...

There's no doubt Lackey has not been effective--whether he's injured and not saying or distracted by concern over his wife's cancer is something we don't know.

In either case, he is pitching like shit.

But his wife having cancer makes him 'poor' in every sense except his wallet--even if he doesn't deserve to pitch, he deserves our sympathy as a hurting, frightened person. From what I've read--and I read a lot about this a few years ago--most of the outcomes of a breast cancer diagnosis in a woman this young are not good.

So, yeah, by all means, if he can't concentrate or is hurt, he should request a leave, just as Laura says.

But.... Well, Joe Posnanski had a very good post recently about the relationship of fans to athletes, germane to this thread:


Kathryn said...

And just for the record...when I say I hate Lackey, I mean I hate him pitching for the Red Sox. I don't hate him as a person. I don't even know him. But it would do him some PR good to take more of the blame for his shitty pitching.

allan said...

K: I think the Pos article linked right above you makes a similar point. (I only skimmed it... for now.)

laura k said...

Kat, I think everyone understands that, although it's worth spelling out.

I realize this makes me sound like an insensitive clod, but I don't care what John Lackey's problems are. Everyone's got problems. I don't know anyone whose life isn't touched by illness or loss or tragedy in some way.

Lackey has built zero credit with me, his problems do not concern me. I only want him to either pitch well or stop pitching for the Red Sox.