In 2011, Lackey finished the year with an astronomical 6.41 ERA and an equally bad 1.62 WHIP. After his disastrous 2011 season in Boston and missing all of last season, most fans and MLB experts didn’t expect much out of him for this season.
However, that’s been far from what has actually gone down.
On Tuesday night against the San Diego Padres, Lackey took the hill and lasted eight innings, giving up only one earned run on just six hits and only one walk. The run also came on just a solo home run and he was rarely in much trouble. He earned the win in the 4-1 Red Sox victory, his third win in his last four starts.
For the season, Lackey now has an ERA of 2.81 and a WHIP of 1.17 to go with a 6-5 record and an impressive 4.39 strikeout-to-walk ratio. With Clay Buchholz on the DL and Jon Lester struggling to be consistent, Lackey really has emerged as the most reliable starter in Boston’s rotation right now.
One of the noticeable things that Lackey has done this season is cause hitters to get the ball in the air less and force more groundballs. If Buchholz can get healthy and Lester can get things sorted out in addition to Lackey continuing his success, the Red Sox are going to be a dangerous team in the postseason.
They already have arguably the best offense in baseball and if they can add three great starting pitchers to that, they are going to be extremely tough to defeat in a series.