Lackey actually has a decent BB/9 rate this season (not including his hit batsmen), but throwing strikes isn’t always a good think if those strikes end up in the hitter-friendly part of the zone — This is why one can’t rely on K/BB rate alone (*cough* Ricky Nolasco *cough*). Such has been the case for Lackey this season.
First, his “called strike-zone” pitch f/x from 2010 (via TexasLeaguers.com).
Then, his location through the same dates this season.
Granted, Lackey missed some time this season and has not thrown the same number of pitches to-date as he did last season. That includes facing many more left-handed hitters to this point in the season in 2010. Regardless, the issue here isn’t what side of the plate he’s pitching to, but rather the number of pitches that are ending up in the middle of the plate or up in the zone. If you compare the two images, it’s not even close. Lackey has clearly missed in the middle of the plate and up in the zone much more often this season.
I know this may seem like, “Duh, that’s why he’s sucked all season!”, but it’s just me trying to confirm with data what my eyes have been telling me all along.