Beckett..The Best Pitcher In Baseball? 3-0 Boston Over Tampa Bay
Josh Beckett improved his record to 6-2 by throwing a one hit complete game shutout. The only hit given up by Josh was a base hit down the third base line. Youk never had the chance to nab the runner at first. Becks said that the lone hit didn't bother him because it was a legitimate safety. If you saw this game last night, you walked away after shutting off the TV knowing you saw one of the best pitching performances of the entire season, bar none. The two managers praised Beckett's effort. Here's Red Sox skipper Tito Francona...
“That’s about as good as you can pitch."
And Joe Maddon, the Ray's manager...
“Beckett was very good. That’s an understatement. He was throwing the ball where he wanted to.’’
To me, he was throwing naturally and effortlessly. That's a sign of good health and Beckett mentioned that in this assessment of his pitching prowess...
“It’s nice. I feel good. Health is a really good thing to have.’’
You can say that again, Josh. Beckett lowered his league-leading ERA to 1.86 and right now he'd be the starting pitcher for the American League 2011 All Star team. What a difference a year makes. Last year at this point of the season he spent more time with the trainers than on the mound. That's certainly not the case now. If you can, find the two hour replay of the game on NESN. The two (or one) hour replays bring you all the excitement but none of the between pitches wait. You'll be glad you did. The two hour replay starts today at 3:30pm EDT on NESN.
In other Boston Red Sox news, left-hander Andrew Miller will join the already crowded rotation. According to a major league source, the Sox plan to keep Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Josh Beckett on five-day routines for the most part and mix Miller, John Lackey, and Tim Wakefield into the rotation. I'd like to see Lackey on the same normal schedule as Lester, Beckett and tonight's starter, Clay Buchholz. Miller's 2011 record at Pawtucket was 3-3 with a great ERA of of 2.47. He has given up 5 earned runs with 25 strikeouts and only 3 walks in his last 25 1/3 innings. He also has a clause in his minor league contract that says if he wasn't promoted to the big club, he could become a free agent. No chance of that now.
So it's Buchholz and David Price going against each other shortly after 7pm EDT. Enjoy it as we try to take the rubber game of the series. You can click on this post's title to see all the highlights and to witness just how near-perfect our man Josh was. Until next time, as always, BE WELL.