Going into this season most people, Cavman included, thought starting pitching was the Red Sox greatest strength. I didn’t think the offense was as “average” as some people. But so far the starting pitching has been the weakest link, despite numerous injuries to key position players. We have seen Lowrie, Lugo, Kotsay and now Youkilis on the DL, with games also missed by Ellsbury, Drew and Papi due to injury.
Despite the games missed, the Sox are still 21-13 which would put them in first in most divisions (well, the Blue Jays have barely played any AL East teams). No thanks to the starting pitching- Wakefield excepted. Lester and Beckett have been greatly disappointing.
I think it is time to bring up Clay Buchholz who continues to dominate as he did in Spring Training. This puts Masterson back in the bullpen where he is most effective. When Dice-K gets back, give Lester and Beckett some rest. They obviously need time to either rest or figure something out. Go to a 6 man rotation, I don’t know. But if the Red Sox have average starting pitching they would have a better record than the one they already do. That speaks volumes about the fantastic job the hitters and bullpen have done, with the exception of the recently designated for assigment Javier Lopez.
I suppose they could just keep doing what they are doing. But, will that help Beckett (6.42), Lester (6.31)and Penny (6.9) get back on track. Seriously 3/5 of the rotation with ERAs over 6- two of them aces???? It is a miracle they aren’t hanging out with the Rays and Orioles. I am grateful for this miracle, but we can’t expect to keep winning consistently unless we get better starting pitching.
Update: the Herald’s John Tomase agonizes over this after another lousy start by Lester.