If 2011 Red Sox starting pitchers were alcoholic beverages…

John Lackey – Guinness: Heavy, overrated and a seemingly much more viable option in mid-March than on the Fourth of July.

Josh Beckett – Budweiser Select: Your run-of-the-mill Clydesdale-esque, chest-beating America-red-white-and-blue stalwart who has captured the minds of us New Englanders and our undeniable Puritan roots. If Puritans drank, they would have appreciated this as a high-end lager capable of delivering an entire region to the Promised Land (again). Or at least it’s pretty to think so.

Jon Lester – Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA: An aggressive, acquired taste deserving of its accolades that alternates between being either delightfully intense or unwelcome and bitter, depending on the circumstances. Don’t hang with this brew all nine innings unless you want to wake up with a sore upper body and significant memory loss.

Clay Buchholz – Jeremiah Weed: One of those non-beer concoctions aimed at teenagers who want to hang around friends who drink beer without feeling like an outcast. But, yeah, it gets people drunk and any style points are in the eye of the beholder.

Tim Wakefield – Pabst Blue Ribbon: Sometimes the quality of a beer is transcended by a deference to the past that lets the drinker overlook otherwise important attributes like ‘taste.’ A bar commands a certain respect by merely having Pabst on tap and available for purchase during those (hopefully) rare moments when the time is right.

Andrew Miller – Miller Chill: It works in that backwards kind of way. Like when big fat guys are nicknamed ‘Tiny’ or  ‘Slim.’ Plus, Bud Light Lime is probably more up Kyle Weiland’s alley.

Daisuke Matsuzaka – Olde English 800: You bought it in a moment of weakness because you figured you could use the attention. Now, as your buddies stand there snickering, all you can do is look at it and wonder what in the world you were thinking. Yet even after all that apprehension, you might as well drink it down until the bottom fifth gets warm. No one will think less of you if you just pour that last little bit out on the ground. It’s finished. Maybe buy something a little more practical next time?

Erik Bedard – Merlot: Talk about a headache not worth having…

Fenway Pastoral would have done the same exercise for relievers. But frankly, finding any humor in their situation right now would feel like a few shots of Somerville-produced vodka just rolling around in a weakened, compromised stomach that is just waiting for that pivotal, highly-public moment in which to evacuate its contents.

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