Jon Lester and John Lackey are pitching incredibly well in 2014 and that should mean a new payday in Boston.
The main reason the offensive struggles have not led to a worse record for the Boston Red Sox has been the brilliance of the entire pitching staff, specifically ace No.1 and No. 2 in Jon Lester and John Lackey.
The Boston Red Sox finished the Texas Rangers series with a comfortable 5-2 win and a 2-1 series win at Texas for the first time since 2011. The win on Sunday put the Red Sox at 19-18, which is the first time over .500 for the team since way back on April 3.
Lester has a nifty 2.75 ERA in eight starts, but somehow is only 4-4 on the season. The 1.078 WHIP has been a huge help as he also is tied for the AL lead with 66 strikeouts. This is helped by a 15-strikeouts performance against the Oakland Athletics a couple weeks ago.
The 30-year-old is in the final year of his current deal with the Red Sox and has really flourished being the ace of the staff since late last season and throughout the playoffs. With left-handed starters with stuff like Lester’s hard to come by, the Red Sox need to do everything they can to make sure he is in Boston for the remainder of his career.
Lackey is another story. After a solid season in 2013 with a 3.52 ERA and an 8-11 record, the 35-year-old has really shown new life after missing the 2012 season. So far in 2014, the offense has backed him in tune to a 5-2 start with a sturdy 3.57 ERA. Sure, the two bad outings in which he gave up a combined 12 earned runs in 11 innings of work in consecutive starts, but every other start has been at least six innings deep with two earned runs or less.
The veteran is looking to either restructure his deal with the Red Sox, as he is set to earn the veteran minimum in 2015, or the Red Sox could deal him to a team that will also extend his current deal. However, Lackey has really shown that he can be a voice of this team the last couple of seasons and the fans have even grown to appreciate his toughness on the field.
If both of these guys can keep this up throughout the season, then the Red Sox need to make sure to re-sign them before they hit free agency. These two players are too important to the team’s success to let them walk or deal them away.