Re: Lackey now over.500
posted at 7/29/2011 10:34 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Lackey now over.500
[QUOTE]In Response to Re: Lackey now over.500 : Can't say I have harness but I contribute John's struggles more to the following circumstances. #1
Pressure of facing better batters on a regular basis in the the AL East #2
Trying to live up to the standards of Jon, Josh and Clays performances #3
Not having as good of stuff as he may have had years ago I'm not sure weather would fly too much with anyone but Wakes knuckleball but I will give you the benefit of the doubt.
Posted by craze4sox[/QUOTE]
I totally agree on #1.
#2 is a tough call. Lackey doesn't want for envy. He believes he's good, IMO, and it's conveyed in how he approaches his art. I don't think I've ever seen him shake off a catcher. He obviously feels any mix will do. That could mean he knows his limitations, or that he believes in his stuff. While there was major fluctuation between Mathis/Napoli catching the Angels staff over several years, consistently favoring Mathis, the numbers with Lackey didn't always go there. Lackey was the lone outlier - and for a reason.
He's throwing 93 MPH, which was about his velocity in CA, but the depth of his bread & butter breaking stuff is not as crisp, but still quite palatable. In short, I partially agree with #3. OTOH, he has
come up with a new (variation) of a cutter
since coming to Boston, so he has the ability to adjust.
Don't ever underestimate the effects of venue. It plays on a pitcher's mind.
Venue can easily alter approach. And the actual dimensions speak for themselves. 315 FT to LF in most parks is an easy out. It takes time to make the adjustments. Beckett in 2007 has a road ERA of almost half what it was at home, and his W/L record was reflective of this. (which is why he should have won the CY that year. CC faced lesser without pitching in a bandbox).
Same goes for the time of season. April/Sept. air kills potential dingers. Hitter's "heat up" in the summer months for a reason. When you see a vet like Chen come in at 5-3 3.30 for a team like KC, and get lit up for a career-high 10 runs, a light should go on regarding other possible factors at play.
Lackey in his previous 3 starts had a 1.87 ERA. It was a hitter's night.