3. John Lackey, 2015 – 218 IP, 2.77 ERA, 142 ERA+, 1.211 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9, 7.2 K/9, 5.6 bWAR
I’m not a fan of John Lackey, at all. But I can’t deny what a fantastic season he had in his only full year in The Lou. After being acquired at the trade deadline in 2014, he was “meh” for the second half of that year.
In 2015, he anchored the staff of a 100 win team to the postseason, even posting 10 solid innings in the playoffs that year. After a ninth-place finish for Cy Young, he bolted to the Cubs where he posted a decent year, then faded into oblivion after a bad year, retiring after the 2017 season.
I just want to recognize the entire 2015 staff while we’re at it. The starters as a whole posted a 2.99 collective ERA, the next closest being 3.24. 100 wins is a very hard feat to accomplish, and the Birds won those games on the backs of their pitching.