Josh Beckett — High & Flat
Posted by athomeatfenway on August 19, 2008
Field Box Dream Becomes Nightmare by Josh.
I was never so confident in the fact that the Sox would win a ball game. Wake, Beckett, Matsuzaka and Lester already have 55 quality starts between them. With Wake on the DL, the other 3 would respond out of pride. Starting with Josh on Sunday.
Beckett, Matsuzaka and Lester. The 3 strongest legs on the table.
Beckett is the strongest.
Ballplayers are almost universally taller and thinner than you think when seen up close. This even applies to Sean Casey. I kid you not.
Viewed from a field box in the 4th row of Field Box 29 on Sunday, Beckett looked every bit of the listed 6 ft. 3”, and a solid 190 to 200 lbs.
Even a bull has weak moments. Weak moments, emotional moments, moments when you make a mistake and then reflexively repeat the mistake 30 times in less than 3 innings.
In one of the poorest outings of his career, Beckett chucked a 96 mph fastball time after time, mixing in several 78 mph curves and 90 mph changes. The curves were pretty darn effective. The Fastballs came in high and straight and came back at Beckett & his teammates as sharply as they went in.
The Blue Jays batted .600 against Josh and .458 against Boston pitchers for the day.
Beckett looked sharp at first. He snapped the leather in Tek’s mitt facing Inglett, the first batsman of the day. That snapping sound was sharp, almost painful. He was pounding it.
Inglett didn’t succumb easily. He fouled off 3 fastballs and 2 curves before striking out swinging. He could see it coming in flat, he just couldn’t time it.
Scutaro then singled sharply by a leaping Cora in the hole. Just missed it.
Rios doubled on the next straight 95mph fastball Josh threw. The first of 4 doubles Rios would rifle on the day.
Wells walked. Lind singled on another fastball. Barajas was then HBP. McDonald soon doubled in the 6th and last run of the inning.
Parade of Porkchops
With 1 on and 1 out in the 3rd, the Sox sent in Aardsma.
They altogether trotted out 7 relief pitchers to stop the bleeding.
The first 6 relievers pitched woozily, like a bottle of cough syrup was being passed around the bullpen.
6 firemen in 6.2 IP yielded 14 hits, 3 walks and 7 Runs.
When the top of ninth arrived, intoxicated by success, Barajas and Overbay drooled from the on deck area as they watched Papelbon warm up.
Clearly, they expected the parade of porkchops to continue.
But Pap succeeded where Beckett, Aardsma, Timlin, Buchholz, Masterson and Okijima had not.
Pap K’d Barajas looking on a 2-2, 95 mph fastball.
Then he K’d Overbay looking on a 1-2 94 mph fastball.
Finally, leading with his heater for the third time, he induced a fly to centerfield to record the only inning of the day in which a Blue Jay did not reach base.
The Ides of August
The Sox looked tired. Just like they looked in August 2007 when they went 16 W – 13 L and suffered through a lack of timely hitting. That lacking, for some reason under the radar of the press, has been present for 3 seasons. You can look it up.
They then went 16-11 in September 2007 despite dropping a 4 game set to Toronto, and then recorded 11 W -3 L in the post-season.
They can do it again. They will do it again.