Beckett Blasted Bigtime...Toronto 15 Boston 4
Ok, OK, let me get this over with--TURN THE PAGE, NOW! There, I feel a little better. I think. No, in fact, I don't. Josh Beckett started for the Boston Red Sox on a seemingly beautiful Sunday afternoon, and things turned ugly too quickly. He plain old didn't have it. He was only able to go 2 1/3 innings, giving up 8 runs on 8 hits. He walked 1 and struck out 3 and turned the game over to the porous bullpen, who had yet another implosion. Aardsma, Timlin, Buchholz, Masterson, Okijima and Jonathon Papelbon were no match for the on fire Blue Jay offense. And this one was over early, with Toronto holding a 6-0 lead after one inning. What happened to Josh Beckett? Here are some thoughts from his catcher and team captain Jason Varitek...
"Especially after his last outing, very surprising," Varitek said. "He was really good his last outing. Just one of those days. Those guys sometimes looked in the right spot, sometimes looked at the right pitch, and got just the good enough one to hit at the right times. It was one of those days. Josh hasn't had one of those days. Is this going to ruin Josh for the year? No."
It better not, Jason, for if the Red Sox want to make a serious run for a playoff spot, be it a first place AL East finish or winning the Wild Card race, Boston will need Beckett in a HUGE way. There's no other way to look at it and we all hope he returns to his normal self before all is lost. The velocity was there but his fastball lacked its normal movement through the zone. The Jays took advantage of that fact by battering and bashing the ball to every corner of cozy Fenway. It was an ugly sight to see, a lost cause before the home team's first at bat. As I said in my opening, TURN THE PAGE...ERASE THE MEMORY BANKS. Spock, code red. A mind meld is needed to eradicate anything having to do with an innocent Sunday afternoon at friendly Fenway. Proceed.
Baltimore invades Boston for three games starting tonight at 7:05pm EDT. Here are the all important pitching matchups...
Jon Lester (11-4, 3.25 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (10-8, 3.18) tonight
Daisuke Matsuzaka (14-2, 2.74) vs. Daniel Cabrera (8-7, 4.78) Tuesday
Buchholz (2-8, 6.35) vs. Chris Waters (1-0, 4.32) Wednesday
Taking two of three from the Birdies is a must. In fact, the Red Sox from now to the end of the regular season must try to take EVERY series they play. They're 4 1/2 games behind the consistant Rays and are tied with Chicago and Minnesota with 53 losses in the Wild Card race. Not good, not good. By the way, the Yankees are still only five games in back of the Sox in the loss column. With 38 games left to go, the playoff picture is in no way complete. Such is baseball, that game we love (or try to). For more on yesterday's action (inaction might be a better word), simply click on this post's title. Have a great Monday as Boston tries to regroup and recover. 8 innings from Jon Lester would help a lot! As always, BE WELL.