You know you’re in trouble when even the weatherman is raining on your parade.
In delivering the morning forecast yesterday, Channel 7’s Jeremy Reiner offered this assessment:
“The good news is, I think we can get the threat of showers out of New England in time for the Sox game tonight,” Reiner said. “The other good news is … John Lackey isn’t pitching tonight.”
But that’s what you get when, statistically speaking, you are the worst pitcher in the league. After finding a way to not get the win in Monday’s 18-9 victory over the Orioles that kept the Red Sox two games ahead of Tampa Bay, Lackey saw his ERA jump to 6.49.
That’s the worst in the big leagues among qualifying starters.
After going through a decent stretch in July and August, when he won seven of eight decisions, Lackey is 0-3 since Aug. 23, allowing at least four runs in five of six starts.
Even after being handed an 11-5 lead Monday, Lackey could not get through the fifth, allowing eight runs on 11 hits.
“I can’t explain it,” Lackey said. “That’s the best I’ve felt warming up in the bullpen all year. I don’t know what the hell happened.”
The Sox have been asking that about Lackey since he arrived before the 2010 season. But the worst could be yet to come: If the wild-card race comes down to the final day of the regular season next Wednesday, and Jon Lester is needed to pitch that game, Lackey could be pitching either Game 1 or 2 of the ALDS.
Hey Jeremy, can you whip us up some rain?