John Lackey rocked again as ERA rises to 7.34

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Last week John Lackey denied speculation that he may need Tommy John elbow surgery and then tossed 7.2 innings of two-run ball against the Phillies, but the Red Sox right-hander was back to his old tricks this afternoon.

Lackey failed to make it out of the third inning versus the Blue Jays, coughing up seven runs while recording just seven outs, and was booed off the mound at Fenway Park.

Lackey allowed nine hits in 2.1 innings, including a homer to Aaron Hill, and his ERA now stands at a hideous 7.34.

Boston can demote him to the bullpen or place him back on the disabled list, but with Lackey owed $15.25 million this season with the same salary due in 2012, 2013, and 2014 he’s going to be their problem for a while.

So far the Red Sox have paid him about $23 million for 287 innings of 5.14 ERA pitching.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.