Daisuke Matsuzaka hit the DL in mid-May with a 3-3 record and a 5.30 ERA after 7 starts. He never came back... which is a bummer, because we had a good amount of predictions logged for Dice-K. The averages worked out to be 27 GS, 170 IP, 12 W, 8L, 4.04 ERA, 146 Ks and 76 free passes.
Given how everything went down, those kind of numbers from our 5th starter would have been amazing!
But I digress...
Next up? John Lackey.
Before the season started, we looked at how the improved patience of the hitters in the AL East versus the AL West may have been a key factor in Lackey's mediocre performance in 2010. I suggested that an improved curveball and less fastballs might help...
Lackey did throw fewer fastballs, but opted to increase his use of the slider by 50% and throw the curve a little less. A -7.2 value on the curve would explain his lack of confidence in that pitch, but his fastball was twice as bad as it was in 2010 (-9.6 / -23.4), so the question is: Has Lackey simply lost it or did he just lose his head in 2011 due to personal problems?
Bottom Line: Lackey will spend 2012 on the DL recovering from Tommy John Surgery (and eating fried chicken), so we'll have to wait another year to see if he'll ever finish a season under 4.00 again. Don't get your hopes up. Here's the chart showing Lackey's actual 2011 stats in red, my predictions in italics and the fan predictions.
As you can see, many expected another mediocre season from Lackey, but no one predicted an ERA over 6.00 and most of us hoped for at least 150 Ks. Other than the wins and losses, no one came close, so we can't award a free t-shirt, but if we had to pick a winner for this round, it would be redsoxtalk.
Stay tuned for more results as the Hot Stove heats up this winter...
ps. Don't forget to click over and check out all of our t-shirts at Bottom Line Apparel. Boston sports fan t-shirt with a pop culture twist!