Is slider at center of Lackey's slide?

June, 23, 2011
John Lackey allowed five earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings pitched Wednesday to see his ERA balloon all the way up to 7.36 for the season. That's the highest ERA by any starter this season with a minimum of 10 starts.

It's also the highest ERA by a Red Sox starter with 10 or more starts through the teams first 74 games played since Mickey Harris in 1948, who had a 7.66 ERA at that point in the season.

In the loss on Wednesday against the Padres Lackey struggled with his slider as three of his five hits allowed, including the home run to Will Venable to leadoff the game, came against a slider.

Lackey has relied on this pitch more often since joining Boston. Using pitch data from the last three seasons his slider percentage thrown has jumped from 11.6 in the season before joining the Red Sox to 16.5 percent in the two seasons since.

He has gotten fewer swings and misses with his slider the last two seasons as his miss percentage has dropped from 41.4 percent in 2009 to 30.7 percent since 2010 began.



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