After leading the team in innings pitched last season, Lackey struggled out of the gate this season. The righty found himself with a 2-5 record and 8.01 ERA through the middle of May. Lackey is 7-3 since, and in his last four starts, Lackey is 4-0 with a 2.52 ERA.
Lackey will look to extend that four-game ‘W’ streak, as he goes up against Cleveland Monday night. All eyes will really be on Lackey on Saturday, though, when the veteran faces off against the Yankees.
Josh Beckett earned his first loss in exactly one month on Thursday. Still, Beckett’s ERA sits at an attractive 2.17, and the 31-year-old has already surpassed the majority of his 2010 stats. Beckett, who will face off against Cleveland and New York this week, has looked good in his two starts against Cleveland — but he’s looked absolutely filthy in his starts against the Yanks. In three starts this season, Beckett is 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA against the Bronx Bombers. He’s averaged seven innings in those starts and has struck out 10.71 per nine innings.
Andrew Miller will be getting the start Sunday in Chicago and Friday against the Yankees. While the lefty has been servicable this season, he’s struggled as of late. He only lasted three-plus innings against Kansas City on Tuesday, allowing seven runs. His 1.87 WHIP is highest among Boston starters, and he’s also averaging 6.23 BB/9.
Jon Lester and Tim Wakefield each pitched well in their starts against Chicago this past weekend. Lester allowed two home runs in his win Saturday, while Wakefield allowed only three runs on three hits in the Sox’ loss on Friday. They’ll be starting games three and four in Cleveland.
Daniel Bard and Matt Albers have been lights out in July, combining for 24 1/3 scoreless innings. Dan Wheeler has also shook his early season struggles, posting a 2.35 ERA in eight July appearances. And, despite a higher ERA, closer Jonathan Papelbon has not blown a save since May 9 and hasn’t allowed a run in his last five outings.