Danny,I posted this on the realistic thread, but since Lackey's name is coming up on nearly every thread, including this one, here is a different angle approach; the team winning factor.
In any given year from 2005 to 2008, Lackey was the Angel's # 2-4 starter, but over any 3 year stretch, he was pretty clearly the #2 starter for a team that was pretty darn good (winning 100 games one year). From 2005-2008, he was arguably their ace, since Colon and weaver did not pitch there or pitch well in all of those years. The Angels were a team that won due more to its pitching than its hitting.
The Angels were 93-57in his starts. That's a 62% winning percent. That percent is better than the team winning percent the Angels had during Lackey's tenure. Lackey had a lot to do with the Angel's success. He started over 30 games in all but 2 seasons after his rookie year, and even in those seasons, he started 27 and 24 times!
Here's a look at Lackey's starts winning percent vs the team's each year since his rookie year in 2002 with emphasis on the 2005-2009 years (the years Theo hoped
we'd get something similar to here):
(Sidenote: I am not someone who thinks wins-losses are the way to judge a pitcher: it is way down on my list of pitcher skillset determonation, but for argumant sake, I am providing this data as an indication of how Lackey's pitching has effected his team's winning percent.)
Year Lackey Angels
2002 12-6 (.667) .611 +.056
2003 12-21 (.364) .475 -.111
2004 16-16 (.500) .568 -068
2005 22-11 (.667) .586 +.081
2006 19-14 (.576) .549 +.027
2007 23-10 (.697) .580 +.117
2008 15-9 (.625) .617 +.008
2009 14-13 (.519) .599 -.008
2010 16-17 (.485) .549 -.064
2011 9-9 (.500) .624 -.124
It's almost a perfect bell curve since 2006. Only 2005 showed a blip in his career curve of getting better each year until peaking in 2007 and going back negative in 2009. Lackey was 30 years old in 2009. Maybe Theo should have seen the curve as being a sign that Lackey was not like some pitchers who peak from 30-32, but still remain plus side until 34-36 or beyond.
As for the 26-27 team record when he starts, we can "dismiss" any responsibility on Lackey's part because... "wins are a team function"
Funny. We all know pitching has a big part to do with winning, but does not stand alone. The fact that the Sox have had pretty good fielding teams in Lackey's short tenure here should not have caused the sub .500 record in his starts. The fact that the Sox have scored 6.02 runs per Lackey start in 2011 (it is 5.50 as a team avg.) and 5.15 (team avg. 5.05) in 2010 shows that lack of run support was probably not a big contributing factor to the sub .500 record. The team scored more for lackey than average in both seasons. To me, that leaves Lackey as the majority factor in the losing team record in his starts. His much higher in ERA and WHIP are the foundation stats to show his decline. The team record numbers just support my position, as do other lesser used stats and metrics..
The fact is the Sox have won at a .601 rate when Lackey does not start (2010 + 2011), and they win at a .491 rate when he starts. Same defense. More runs scored when he pitches. Less wins. How is this any different from the VTek team winning percentages when he catches vs VMart/Salty team winning percentages position?