For every nine innings that Lester pitches, the Red Sox score 9.77 runs. Insane. Among qualified pitchers, that's the second best run support in the major leagues.*
Here are the run support stats for the entire rotation. 2011 numbers are first, followed by full-season 2010 numbers in parentheses:Lester -9.77 (6.88)
Lackey - 8.12 (7.07)
Buchholz - 6.37 (6.79)
Wakefield - 5.77 (5.45)
Beckett - 5.75 (7.67)
While Lester's run support is up, Beckett's run support is down. A lot. (Though even so it is only just slightly below the median figure --5.77 -- for all qualified big league pitchers.) Perhaps he is just so dominant that our hitters figure they can take things easy when he's on the mound.
On the other hand, the Sox have never given Wakefield that much support, which makes his accomplishments that much more impressive.
* "Qualified pitchers" are those that have pitched an average of at least one inning for every game their team has played, i.e., the "qualified pitchers" on the Red Sox staff are those that have pitched at least 65 innings. The run support leader among all qualified pitchers in the big leagues is Jake Arrieta of the Baltimore Orioles, whose run support is at 9.79, just the tiniest sliver above Lester's. Despite Jake's 4.48 ERA, he is already an 8-game winner.