Posted on: May 11, 2011 10:01 am
By Matt Snyder
'OUT OF REASONS': John Danks is 0-6 this season and he can't figure it out.
"I’m out of reasons. I don’t know. I’ve done the same thing I’ve done my whole career. I feel good. It’s just not working out. I don’t have any other way of putting it. But I’m back at it for my next start, whenever it is (May 17 against Texas). We’ll go from there.” (Chicago Tribune)
Could I make a suggestion? How about pitchers -- and the fans/media still clinging to the same notion -- quit acting like wins and losses are the defining individual pitching stat. Look at Danks' individual game logs. On opening day, he gave up two runs in six innings and lost. On April 13 he threw eight innings and allowed just one run and took a no-decision (there are guys with three or four wins who haven't had an outing this good). On April 19, he threw seven innings and gave up two runs, taking the loss. May 4, Danks worked eight innings and gave up three runs, taking the loss. Five of his eight starts have been quality starts. With better run support or bullpen help, he could easily be something like 4-3. Now, Tuesday night he was terrible, but that alone should be the discussion following the game, not how he's 0-6. That record alone suggests he's been terrible all season, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
FREE SPEECH? Pirates prospect Tony Sanchez is in trouble over a tweet he sent Monday night, where he complained about the umpiring -- even suggesting they decided "to blow a game." Obviously, Eastern League officials weren't too happy about the suggestion the umpires purposely changed an outcome. Sanchez ended up apologizing. (Hardball Talk) Much time has been spent discussing how athletes -- and, really, anyone -- should be careful when going to Twitter while emotional about anything. You're sending your thoughts to everyone who wants to see. That's not always a great idea. But what bothers me more than anything in these discussions is how few peolpe actually understand what "freedom of speech" means. The First Amendment begins, "Congress shall make no law." So you can't be punished by the legal system for speech. You most certainly can get fined, suspended or fired in any profession for something you say.
SPEAKING OF SOCIAL MEDIA: Jeff Sullivan over at SB Nation takes a look at the presence all major-league teams have on Facebook and Twitter. All use both outlets, but the numbers of fans vary and could correlate to how well the social media department of each franchise is run.
HUNTER UPDATE: Monday we passed along the news that Tommy Hunter of the Rangers had re-injured his groin. The good news now is that the strain is less severe and he'll only be set back about two to three weeks in his rehab. "I was more upset [Monday]," Hunter said. "It might just be scar tissue. It was just a little tweak. It's just a little setback." (Star-Telegram.com)
HUGHES UPDATE: Injured Yankees' starting pitcher Phil Hughes is expected to start a throwing program Thursday and could return in six to eight weeks. (MLB.com via Twitter) It will be interesting to track his progress, namely the great velocity question.
AN INNOCENT EMBRACE: If Albert Pujols does leave the Cardinals at the end of the year as a free agent, one major player for his services moving forward will most certainly be the Cubs. They lack power, will have an opening at first base and have about $50 million coming off the payroll before 2011. So, of course, when Cubs general manager and Pujols hugged before the Cubs-Cardinals game Tuesday night (look right for the evidence), it set off a media/social media firestorm. See, look, he's recruiting him already! Hendry, of course, said there was nothing to it.
"I can't win. I like Albert. We've always gotten along. He's a great, great player. I admire the heck out of him. He plays the game the right way every day," Hendry said, also noting he hugged former Cub Ryan Theriot, too. (CSN Chicago)
Pujols went out and had a 4-5 day as the Cardinals won.
BEST STUFF: What pitcher in baseball has the best pure stuff? Not who is the best or who has the best control, but the best arsenal of pitches that can baffle hitters. Fangraphs.com uses the criteria of "velocity, movement, intent and simply how hard it is for opposing hitters (of all types) to produce against what they're thrown" to determine Felix Hernandez has the best stuff. A healthy Ubaldo Jimenez, Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum and Justin Verlander round out the top five.
SLOW STARTER: Mat Latos was lights-out for a stretch last season. In fact, he was one of the best pitchers in baseball. From May 7-Sept. 7, Latos was 13-2 with a 1.58 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 153 strikeouts in 136 1/3 innings. He did finish quite poorly and has started this season off poorly as well, so maybe that's why it's easy to forget last season he started out pretty poorly as well, as he took a 6.20 ERA into May. SignonSanDiego.com points out it's possible Latos is simply a slow starter and wore down late last season.
BEHIND THE DISH DEFENSE: There are lots of defensive metrics out there for defense in the field, such as range factor and zone rating. It's a bit tougher to judge catchers with stats, though, considering range doesn't factor in. They're parked behind the plate. Of course many have come up with methods over the years, and the thoughtful boys over at Beyond the Box Score have come up with their own methodology based upon tweaking parts of other metrics. So, in terms of saving runs for his team, the best defensive catcher so far in 2011 has been ... Matt Wieters. Of the 75 they ranked, Josh Thole was last. Interestingly, Yadier Molina -- who is hyped by many as a great defensive catcher -- checks in at No. 62, just ahead of Jake Fox and Ryan Doumit while trailing Mike Napoli. Small sample size? Maybe.
THE LEMONADE GUY: I had no idea who Kenny Geidel was before he passed away earlier this week, but apparently he was known to Pirates' fans as simply "the lemonade guy" and was pretty beloved. Big League Stew put together a tribute to the popular vendor.
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Posted on: April 24, 2011 11:18 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Derek Jeter, Yankees -- I often wonder how long can you keep saying, "It's still early." I think when an everyday player can raise his average .046 points in one day, it's still early. That's what Jeter did on Sunday with his 4-for-6 performance against the Orioles. Jeter notched his second extra-base hit of the season, a second-inning double and added an RBI single in the 11th inning. He still doesn't look like the captain of old, and his .257/.317/.284 line isn't anywhere near looking like Minka Kelly, but it's better than the .221/.289/.235 line he brought to Sunday's dance. He also moved up the all-time hit list, past Frank Robinson for 30th overall with 2,945.
Red Sox pitching -- John Lackey's eight-inning performance was just the latest great start for Boston hurlers. Boston completed its sweep of the Angels with a 7-0 win in Anaheim on Sunday, marking the team's first back-to-back shutouts since June, 2007. Boston has now won eight of nine, with Red Sox starters going 7-1 with a 0.88 ERA during that string. The Angels' only runs off a Red Sox starter in the four games (and 30 innings by Red Sox starters) was Torii Hunter's seventh-inning homer off Josh Beckett on Thursday night.
Roy Halladay, Phillies -- As Matt pointed out the other day, the Padres didn't stand much of a chance against Halladay following his bad performance earlier in the week. While Wade LeBlanc performed well for the Padres, he couldn't match Halladay, who went 8 2/3 innings, allowed five hits and one run, matching his career-best with 14 strikeouts.
White Sox offense -- Chicago's lost 10 of 11 and scored three or fewer runs in all 11 games. In those 11 games, the White Sox are hitting just .193/.256/.282 with seven home runs, with more strikeouts (76) than hits (69). Adam Dunn is struggling as much as anyone, hitting .098/.213/.195 since coming back from his appendectomy.
Carlos Zambrano, Cubs -- The Cubs' right-hander allowed five runs in the first inning on Sunday and had his streak of 11 consecutive victories halted. However, on the positive side, Zambrano didn't blow up after a rough start as he has in the past, settling down and giving up just one more run in his remaining four innings.
Mariano Rivera, Yankees -- Rivera blew his second straight save opportunity -- and if not for a good defensive job by right fielder Nick Swisher, second baseman Robinson Cano and catcher Russell Martin, it would have lost the game. After a rain delay in extra innings, the Yankees were able to pick up Rivera and score three in the 11th for a victory.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: April 2, 2011 11:48 pm
Edited on: April 2, 2011 11:56 pm
By Evan Brunell
Today felt like baseball season with a full slate of games, all in the afternoon and night. It was a fun day to pig out if you're a baseball fan, which we all are 'round these parts.
Chase Headley, Padres -- Headley broke through with some fireworks Saturday, netting four RBI on the night including a two-run shot in the ninth to cap off an 11-3 victory. Ryan Ludwick had some fun in front of Headley, scoring four times. Headley isn't known for a stick, so it'll be interesting to see if his power sticks.
Kyle Drabek, Blue Jays -- Drabek had such filthy stuff that Denard Span would say afterwords it was a relief that the Twins didn't end up no-hit. Drabek went seven strong, whiffing seven, walking three and giving up a lone hit and earned run. Drabek is quite the exciting young hitter and it appears the Jays are well on their way toward replacing Roy Halladay -- as much as anyone can, I suppose.
Freddy Sanchez, Giants (pictured) -- Freddy celebrated a one-year extension by delivering a 3-for-4 night, adding a walk while scoring two runs and banging home 3 RBI. Sanchez delivered a double and home run -- things you don't commonly see Sanchez do in a single game -- as the Giants routed the Dodgers 10-0.
John Lackey, Red Sox -- Not exactly the way you want to start the second year of a much-maligned five-year contract. Lackey, after struggling last season in his first year (despite a nice run to finish the year), really came through with a clunker in going just 3 2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and a staggering nine runs, walking two and whiffing three. The big hit of the night was an Adrian Beltre grand slam after intentionally walking Josh Hamilton. Just not a good night.
Michael Bourn, Astros -- Bourn had the most pitiful batting line on the night, going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. Not exactly what you want from your leadoff man. Bourn is a wizard with the glove and can outsteal anyone in the majors provided he's on base, which will be something to track.
Francisco Liriano, Twins -- Maybe Minnesota was smart after all to table talks on a long-term extension. Liriano didn't look good at all in spring training and that carried into the season with four runs coughed up in 4 1/3 innings, struggling to locate the ball with five walks and three whiffs, throwing 90 pitches. Not the way to endear yourself to your employers or other teams on the prowl such as the Yankees.
Posted on: March 29, 2011 5:56 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 9:35 pm
By Matt Snyder
Finally, spring training is concluding. Now we have a day or two before your favorite team begins play. In the meantime, I'm here to bring you the top five teams to decline and the top five to improve upon their 2010 performances. In return, you accuse me of bias and call me names. It's fun for everyone, really. One thing to keep in mind is that improving or declining by more than 10 games is pretty drastic. On some of these, I'm looking at something like a seven-game swing.
TOP FIVE TEAMS TO IMPROVE
1. Boston Red Sox. Well, let's see ... Last season Kevin Youkilis only played 102 games, Dustin Pedroia saw action in 75 and Jacoby Ellsbury just 18. Josh Beckett was either injured or ineffective all season. Meanwhile the Red Sox added Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to a team that won 89 games, despite all those injury woes -- and some underachieving from people like John Lackey. Easiest call on the board here, and even Yankees fans would have to concede this team is loaded.
2. Oakland A's. The pitching staff is stellar, even including the bullpen. The starting rotation is already really good and only getting better. The A's won 81 with one of the worst offenses in baseball last season. A full season of Coco Crisp, Kurt Suzuki bouncing back and the additions of Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham don't exactly sound like adding Gonzalez and Crawford, but small improvements will do wonders for the pitching staff. Slugger Chris Carter is waiting in the wings, too, and don't be surprised if Billy Beane adds a bat at the deadline.
3. Colorado Rockies. Troy Tulowitzki needs to stay healthy and Dexter Fowler needs to get closer to his ceiling. I'm going out on a limb that both happen, along with steps forward from Chris Iannetta and Ian Stewart. Watch Jhoulys Chacin's development in the starting rotation, too. He's got big potential.
4. Milwaukee Brewers. This is contingent upon the big names staying healthy and Zack Greinke getting healthy as soon as possible, because this team is paper-thin. But the top line is very impressive. Plus, the division is not very good at all. The Brewers are going to score runs, get good starting pitching (again, assuming the health thing) and have a good back-end of the bullpen. If they can overcome defense and depth deficiencies, they'll win the Central.
5. Florida Marlins. Call it a bit of a gut call, but I really like the Marlins. The rotation really has great potential with Javier Vazquez returning to a pitcher's park in the NL East (he's apparently too intimidated by being a Yankee) and Ricky Nolasco having the ability to be a true No. 2 if he can ever stay consistent. Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad have -- again, this word -- potential to be solid at the end, with stud Josh Johnson leading the five-some. I love the outfield potential of Logan Morrison, Chris Coghlan and Mike Stanton, so long as all three can stay healthy. Hanley Ramirez is primed to have a big season, too.
TOP FIVE TEAMS TO DECLINE
1. San Diego Padres. Removing Gonzalez from the middle of the batting order changes the complexion of everything. And Mat Latos is already hurt, which does nothing to alleviate the concern of the huge workload increase he's experienced over the past two seasons. Most of all, the Padres just seem outmanned by the Giants and Rockies. Winning close to 90 games seems outlandish. Of course, many people said that last year, too.
2. Houston Astros. They overachieved in a big way last season according to run differential (the 'Stros allowed 118 more runs than they scored) and aren't any better. Other than Hunter Pence, the position players are either getting old (Carlos Lee), still unproven (Brett Wallace) or just not that good (Jason Michaels, Bill Hall, Michael Bourn). I'm not a huge fan of the rotation, but it's going to have to carry the team. Good luck with that.
3. Tampa Bay Rays. This is difficult. It's hard to not love the Rays for being so good at sticking with the Yankees and Red Sox in the mighty AL East on that paltry payroll. The loss of Crawford hurts. Carlos Pena wasn't overly productive -- though he was much better than his batting average said -- last season, but his presence helps everyone else see better pitches. That goes away with Dan Johnson at first. The loss of Matt Garza isn't a big deal, so long as Jeremy Hellickson does his thing and James Shields returns to form. The bullpen is worse, though. Look, I'd pick the Rays to win the NL Central if they were in it, but the Yankees aren't any worse and the Red Sox are way better. The Orioles should be better as well. I think the Rays win in the ballpark of 86 games, but that's 10 worse than last year and good for third place.
4. Toronto Blue Jays. They're still building and are moving in the right direction, but winning 85 games again in that division is a very tall order. Any offensive bounce-back from the likes of Aaron Hill and Adam Lind is negated by Jose Bautista's return to this planet.
5. St. Louis Cardinals. If anyone can pull this off, it's Dave Duncan, but losing Adam Wainwright was a death blow. Chris Carpenter is old and injury-prone. Jaime Garcia is due a massive regression. Kyle Lohse was awful last year and Jake Westbrook doesn't have good stuff. Kyle McClellan could very well prove a solid No. 5 starter, but he hasn't exceeded 75 2/3 innings the past three seasons in the bullpen. Can he really double that and remain effective? The outfield defense won't do the staff any favors, either. The Pujols/Holliday/Rasmus combo -- and even Lance Berkman in a best-case scenario -- is very solid, but there's only going to be so much they can do on some nights. I feel like mid-to-high 70s in wins, but Duncan and Tony La Russa find ways to make people wrong often.
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Tags: Aaron Hill, Adam Lind, Adam Wainwright, Adrian Gonzalez, AL East, AL West, Albert Pujols, Anibal Sanchez, Astros, Athletics, Bill Hall, Billy Beane, Blue Jays, Brett Wallace, Brewers, Cardinals, Carl Crawford, Carlos Lee, Carlos Pena, Chris Carpenter, Chris Carter, Chris Coghlan, Chris Iannetta, Chris Volstad, Coco Crisp, Colby Rasmus, Dan Johnson, Dave Duncan, Dexter Fowler, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, Hideki Matsui, Hunter Pence, Ian Stewart, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook, James Shields, Jason Michaels, Javier Vazquez, Jeremy Hellickson, Jhoulys Chacin, John Lackey, Jose Bautista, Josh Beckett, Josh Johnson, Josh Willingham, Kevin Youkilis, Kurt Suzuki, Kyle Lohse, Kyle McClellan, Lance Berkman, Logan Morrison, Marlins, Mat Latos, Matt Garza, Matt Holliday, Michael Bourn, Mike Stanton, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Padres, Rays, Red Sox, Ricky Nolasco, Rockies, Troy Tulowitzki
Posted on: March 7, 2011 8:17 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 8:45 pm
By Matt Snyder
As we all know -- yet can't emphasize enough -- spring training performances at this point aren't indicative of what we're likely to see during the regular season. That being said, you can pick and choose based upon circumstances which players did something relatively significant, and three starting pitchers in particular took the hill Monday and likely made their respective teams feel pretty happy.
1. Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies. The Rockies' ace had his start pushed back a few days due to an infection in his thumb, but he took the hill Monday and showed he was just fine. He worked three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk. It's safe to say there's no reason to worry about him at all the rest of the spring -- assuming he doesn't suffer a different injury.
2. John Lackey, Red Sox. He was a major bust last season, putting up his worst ERA since 2004 and the worst WHIP of his career. Last week, Lackey said he was "tired" of talking about last season. The best way to quiet the critics is to come out and have a good 2011. He's building himself a nice foundation in the spring. He threw four shutout innings Monday, allowing just one hit and no walks.
3. A.J. Burnett, Yankees. After an incredibly disappointing 2010 season, Burnett seems on track to put the negative behind him. He threw three perfect innings Monday, keeping his spring ERA at 0.00. A big season from Burnett would be paramount to the Yankees' success this season.
1. Mike Leake and Homer Bailey, Reds. The defending NL Central champs have a pretty strong group of guys vying for the last two rotation spots, and neither of the two listed here did much for himself Monday. Bailey started and went 2 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs. On the plus side, he did strikeout three while walking none. Leake went three innings, but coughed up nine hits and four earned runs. Travis Wood is the third starter in the mix, and he looked good last time out.
2. Blake DeWitt, Cubs. The second baseman was hitless in three at-bats. Normally that wouldn't be too awful, but his team pounded out 18 hits and 14 runs. He's now just 3 for 18 this spring. To rub salt in the wound, his replacement -- Scott Moore -- hit a grand slam in his first at-bat after taking over for DeWitt.
3. Luis Castillo, Mets. The veteran is in a four-way battle for the job of starting second baseman. After going hitless in three at-bats, he's now 2 for 13 this spring (.154). This coming after new manager Terry Collins has made it known he wants some offense from second. Needless to say, things aren't looking great right now for Castillo.
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Posted on: March 3, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: March 3, 2011 12:30 pm
Posted by C. Trent Rosecrans
For most established big leaguers, it's beyond idiotic to put much stock in many spring training results -- nobody's a star or scrub based solely on a game in the first week of March -- but Oliver Perez isn't the typical case.
The Mets pitcher has been hanging on to his roster spot by a three-year, $36-million thread for a while. In the last year of his ridiculous contract, the left-hander may be released if he "does not show significant improvement over Sunday's two-inning, four-run disappointment" today against the Cardinals, the New York Daily News' Andy Martino writes, citing two "major league sources familiar with the Mets' thinking."
Sunday, Perez was throwing an 84 mph fastball and struggled with his command. He was initially slated as a reliever for today's game, but he will instead start.
Manager Terry Collins said, "I'm quite sure he'll have another try after [Thursday]." But Martino says that may not be the case.
Since signing his big deal (any guess who his agent is?), Perez has gone 3-9 with a 6.81 ERA in 31 games. He made 14 starts in 2009 and seven last season before being put in the bullpen. He didn't pitch at all in June, and pitched just two games in August -- on the first day of the month and the next-to-last day of the month, and just one day in September.
There was talk the Mets would release him after the season, but they gave him one last try -- and that very last try could come today.
SPEAKING OF ALBATROSS CONTRACTS: Bruce Bochy told reporters Wednesday that Barry Zito's spot in the Giants' rotation is secure, despite a San Francisco Chronicle column citing a "source close to the team" as saying his job isn't safe.
General manager Brian Sabean also denied the story was a plant.
"Absolutely, unequivocally not," Sabean told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. "We have too much respect for players, and more so, I have a great relationship with Barry Zito. If things had gotten to that point, I would have talked to him directly, firsthand."
Zito walked five of the 13 batters he faced in his spring opener on Monday.
In fact, Rosenthal points out the much-maligned Yankees' career numbers are pretty darn close to those of Boston's Josh Beckett, another former Marlin. The numbers Rosenthal uses are indeed close -- Burnett is 110-100 with a 3.99 ERA and an opponents' OPS of .701 in his career, while Beckett is 112-74, with a 3.96 ERA and .708 opponents' OPS.
The secret for Burnett to be successful, Rosenthal writes, is for Burnett to believe he can be successful. The Yankees certainly hope that's true.
If I got $18 million to put up a 4.40 ERA. In his first season since coming over from the Angels, Lackey made 33 starts and put up a 14-11 record.
IT'S THE MONEY, STUPID: It's going to be difficult for either Dustin Ackley or Michael Pineda break camp with the Mariners, even if they earn a spot in spring, Larry Stone of the Seattle Times writes, because of the possible Super 2 status.
The Mariners may have to guess when to bring up their talented rookies in hope of not allowing them to reach arbitration eligibility early. To be safe, now most teams wait until June to bring up a heralded prospect. Remember Buster Posey? He was called up to stay last year on May 29.
Recently teams have guessed on when the Super 2 cutoff date would occur and lost on Tim Lincecum (2007) and Jay Bruce (2008) falling before the cutoff date. Teams worried about payroll, like the Mariners, are unlikely to take a gamble.
CITIZEN CATCHER: Congratulations to Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez, who took a couple of days off from Cincinnati's camp to go to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to take his United State citizenship test. Hernandez passed the test on Tuesday and will be sworn in at a later date.
"I already live here and I have my life here," Hernandez, a native of Venezuela, told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. "My kids are U.S. citizens and my wife is a U.S. citizen. I'm the only one left. I feel like I've got to do it because I live here."
Hernandez celebrated with a double against the White Sox on Wednesday.
A PITCHER'S BEST FRIEND: A physicist writes an article on Baseball Prospectus stating that if the Diamondbacks used a humidor at Chase Field, they'd see a 37 percent drop in home runs. (Hat tip to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic)
Frankel would have to sell his share of the Rays, if approved.
THE DOCTOR IS AN IN-PATIENT: While the NFL seems to have someone on every Dancing With the Stars incarnation, MLB will be represented on Celebrity Rehab by former Mets ace Dwight Gooden.
Gooden, 46, will join Lindsay Lohan's dad and the kid from Baywatch on Dr. Drew's show, TMZ.com reports.
MMMM… GRAVY: A flow chart telling you which Major League Baseball team you should root for.
ANIMAL STYLE: For those non-Californians heading out to spring training in Arizona, here's a little help when it comes to the culinary hotspot that is In-N-Out. You've heard of the secret menu? Here's a look at every "secret" item on the menu.
Posted on: September 15, 2010 1:12 am
Edited on: September 15, 2010 10:18 am
When one goes 12-10 with a 4.45 ERA in 190 innings for the Red Sox after years of being the Angels ace, one could easily see how the season was a disappointment for John Lackey.
“It’s been a little crazy,” Lackey told the Boston Herald . “For sure.”
Lackey inked a five-year, $82.5 million deal to join the Red Sox as an innings-eating workhorse who was also a frontline pitcher. That hasn't quite developed, for a myriad of reasons ranging from a new division, small ballparks and luck.
“I knew it was going to be a little bit more difficult coming up to this [AL East] division,” Lackey acknowledged. “My career ERA is just a little under 4.00 [3.89], so it’s not a whole lot different than what I’ve been this year."
However, Lackey says he feels confident given how he's improved in the second half, with a 3.97 ERA after a 4.78 mark in the first half. Lackey conceded that his 12 wins are off the pace he had hoped, but showed he understood the game more than Joe Morgan when saying “You obviously want to win more games, but a lot of times as a starting pitcher, wins aren’t in your control.”Other things like defense and luck aren't in Lackey's control, and a .325 BABIP has haunted him in his quest for a low ERA. His xFIP on the year is 4.39, so is having a far better season that may otherwise be advertised.
“Luck’s not something you want to rely on at all,” Lackey said. “There are definitely years when you get more breaks than others, but I’m not a huge believer in it. For the most part, if you work hard, you get what you put into it.”
Pitching coach John Farrell has said he believes the shift to smaller parks may have affected Lackey. The right-hander didn't really ascribe much to that notion, but expressed relief he was at least able to eat up innings.
“I’m almost up to 200 innings and I take pride in that,” the 31-year-old said. Lackey is tied with Jon Lester for the team lead in innings pitched with 190. He also has pitched into the seventh inning in 20 out of 29 starts, which in this day and age, is impressive.
Lackey isn't very pleased with how his personal season has worked out, but believes the future will be better -- both for himself and the Red Sox.
First, Lackey will have to finish a season that sees the Red Sox miss the playoffs.
-- Evan Brunell
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Posted on: July 28, 2010 10:18 am
John Lackey wasn't too pleased about the reception he received in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
"Definitely heard a lot of [the boos]. ... That won't be forgotten, for sure," Lackey told WEEI.com's Alex Speier. The 31-year-old who spent eight seasons with the Angels and won a deciding Game 7 in the 2002 World Series returned to L.A. for the first time since departing as a free agent. The righty signed a five-year, $82.5 million deal with the Red Sox, posting a 10-5 record and 4.26 ERA through 21 games in his first season without wearing Angel threads.
The 10th win came at the expense of the Angels, pitching 7 1/3 innings and giving up two runs against four strikeouts and one walk. Lackey certainly appeared motivated by the boos, adding that "Nobody wants to get booed like that. Scoreboard talks the loudest."
While the Angels figure to have a better shot at making the playoffs than Boston, at least for one night the scoreboard did, in fact, say everything there was to say about Lackey's performance. In addition, the victory made Lackey the only American League pitcher to win at least 10 games in each of the last eight seasons. Only CC Sabathia and Derek Lowe have a similar streak, but both pitchers have split their time between the AL and NL.
"Good players always go to the top of their game when they are facing their ex-team," added David Ortiz. "Lackey, man, he was on. It was on."
-- Evan Brunell
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