Jon Lester needs to be an ace.
When the Red Sox made the playoffs in 2009, opponents scored 736 runs against them. In 2012, the Red Sox opponents scored 806 runs.
Though their offense wasn’t as good as it has been in years past, inconsistent starting pitching has been the primary reason why the Red Sox have struggled.
In 2010, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz had great seasons, while John Lackey was below average and Josh Beckett was awful.
In 2011, Beckett and Lester were great, but Buchholz was hurt and Lackey had one of the worst pitching performances in franchise history.
This past season, no SP was good. Lester and Buchholz were mediocre, Beckett was awful when in Boston and Felix Doubront, who provided hope for the future, was inconsistent.
If Boston is going to return to the playoffs, it needs to start by fixing the starting rotation.