The main reason for this team’s demise has been the performances of Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, the latter of whom is looking more like his old self.
“I think there’s been a lot of focus on the two of them as the core reason for our underperformance,” Cherington said. “They would both tell you they’re not having years they’d like to have. But they’ve taken the ball every fifth day and they’ve competed. They’ve both kept us in games. Josh has missed a few starts and both have had a couple of games that have gotten away from them.
“Your best pitchers aren’t always going to have high levels of performance. Both guys had a little bit of down years. Those guys have been on the mound for our good times and I think they’re capable of it.”
Cherington agrees “it’s no secret our starting pitching has not been as good as it used to be, if you look at the entirety of the season so far. Part of improving it is to help our guys get back to what they’ve done in the past. If there are ways to improve this offseason, we’ll do that. There’s still a lot of performance upside to guys here without adding anything to it. I know it won’t be for a lack of effort.”
Cherington agreed with the assertion that he traded Shoppach to make room for Lavarnway. But it was more than that. And now Shoppach can spread his cheer in the Mets clubhouse. Good luck with that.
Nick Cafardo can be reached at email@example.com.