And by lackluster, I mean John Lackey lacked luster.
Most Red Sox fans were hoping for better from Lackey today. The Sox had a chance to win the series and were facing Armando Galarraga, a Triple-A refugee. Guys who get $82.5 million are supposed to win that game.
Instead Lackey gave up five runs on nine hits and four walks in seven innings. He let his temper get the best of him in the second inning, arguing with umpire Lance Barksdale. Then he failed to cover first properly and walked Johnny Damon with the bases loaded.
Two innings later he left a curveball up that Ramon Santiago crushed for a two-run homer.
“I threw the ball better than the line showed,” Lackey said.
Not against a lineup that included Santiago, Don Kelly, Max Avila and Danny Worth. Lackey needs to do better than give up five runs to that lineup.
The Red Sox had every chance to win three games in Detroit and instead they lost two. For two weeks now, this team has floated around .500. Depending on the day, they’re even, a game or two under or a game or two over.
Are they contenders or pretenders? Nobody can say. The Red Sox just are. They’re a team without much of a personality to this point.
Here’s what comes next:
Two games in New York
Two games at home against Minnesota
Three games at Philadelphia
Three games at Tampa Bay
We should know more by the time that stretch is finished. But the Frequently .500 Sox will probably go 5-5.