#52 / Pitcher / St. Louis Cardinals
Jul 01, 1991
|2013 - Michael Wacha||4-1||15||9||0||0||0||1||64.2||52||20||20||5||19||65||2.78||1.10|
#41 / Pitcher / Boston Red Sox
Oct 23, 1978
|2013 - John Lackey||10-13||29||29||2||0||0||0||189.1||179||80||74||26||40||161||3.52||1.16|
The Boston Red Sox in the 21st century have had a clubhouse rife with turmoil and objects of dislike among its fans, for all that they've managed to reach the World Series three times and win twice in the last 13 years. John Lackey has not avoided this scourge.
Whom the Baseball Gods would destroy, they first put on an implausibly remunerative contract. John Lackey was no exception. He signed a 5-year $82M contract in 2009. He was fine in 2010, appallingly bad in 2011, and out with Tommy John surgery in 2012.
Defying said gods, he actually has looked pretty good this year, though he remains pretty far from earning the $82M he signed for. With a 3.56 ERA, a 3.86 FIP, and a 3.49 xFIP, he's been a very valuable pitcher for the Red Sox. He strikes a slightly-above average percentage of batters out (20.7% v. 19.9%). He doesn't walk many at all (5%). He's not overpowering, with a 91 mph fastball. He liberally mixes in a slider/cutter (30% of the time this season) (watch out,David Freese), and will throw the odd curveball for variation.
His opponent, Michael Wacha, you know quite well. Wacha's youth pairs interestingly with the 35-year-old Lackey. Wacha is a solid starter who has looked nearly unhittable in September and October. It will be interesting to see how they fare against one another.