I don’t want to rain on the parade. But…

April 11th, 2007 → 9:54 am @ // 5 Comments

I was as impressed with Josh Beckett’s performance yesterday as anyway was. In fact, I was probably more impressed than people who were watching the game from the heated comfort of their own homes, because every eight-pitch, up-and-down inning he turned in seemed like a particular blessing to someone freezing his ass off in a wooden seat built for a guy who tops out at 140 lbs. But let’s wait a bit before we christen the Sox’s rotation as one likely to harken back to the glory days of the Orioles (for those of you younger fans out there, yes, the Orioles did have glory days) and post multiple 20-game winners. Beckett’s two starts this year have been against the Royals and a Mariners staff that’s been building snowmen for the past week. And he’s turned in precious few starts like this since moving north last year; indeed, as Jackie MacMullan inadvertently points out in her column today, Beckett’s moments of brilliance have come against less than prodigious lineups: there was last July’s four-hitter against the Royals, last September’s the-year’s-already-over six-hitter against the Twins, and yesterday’s game. I’m pretty certain Manny isn’t going to end the year with no home runs and a .280 slugging percentage. I’m also unconvinced that we’ve seen Beckett turn the page. Let’s see how he pitches when he gets in trouble, when he needs to rely on his off-speed stuff instead of having being able to play around with whatever he wants due to the freedom that comes with a 46-run lead.


Post Categories: 2007 Home Opener & Josh Beckett

5 Comments → “I don’t want to rain on the parade. But…”


  1. tinisoli

    10 years ago

    It’s always funny to me when people––bloggers, baseball writers, WEEI dopes, etc.––break out the “let’s not anoint so-and-so the next great hero just yet” argument, usually around the start of a season or campaign. Sportswriters seem particularly preoccupied with constantly reminding readers that, hey guys, things might not go well tomorrow, or next week, or next year, so stop getting all excited and happy about today. (Gee, really? And here I was, all set to drive over to Josh Beckett’s house to willingly become his love slave after witnessing his nice game yesterday. How silly of me.) At some point, can’t we just distribute a template to all writers with the names and details left blank? They could use it for Daisuke, Beckett, Barack Obama, Kevin Durant, and any upstart who hasn’t yet won the big game/election/contest or whatever it is (doesn’t the clinching game of a World Series count?) that qualifies. Really, Seth, this post had a very Shaughnessy flavor to it.

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  2. MSGiro

    10 years ago

    Can we actually just apply that to the whole team? It’s the second week of the season. So much will change between now and next month and so on and so on. Geez, after opening day so many of my friends called and said “Tek looks awful”. All of it drives me nuts. Come on. Can you really make an assessment after 9 innings guys? Can we all wait until at least June 1st? That’s my first official love em or hate em check-in.

    Watch, if Dice-K dominates tonight the entire Sox Nation will be convinced he’ll win 35 games before the season is over and 3 babies born at Beth Israel will be named Dice, Kay, and Saka within 3 hours.

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  3. ConsiderThis

    10 years ago

    You don’t have to buy into silly over-projecting fan-boy fantasy to note three major differences in Beckett 2007 over the 2006 model so far:

    1. He has slowed his motion down, and seems to be in much better control both physically and mentally.

    2. He is not relying simply on his amazing heater, but has demonstrated an ability to confound good hitters by mixing up a variety of well-located pitches.

    2. His body language projects calm confidence rather than frustrated confusion.

    He did have to struggle during that first wintry outing in KC: he walked four, throwing 94 pitches in just 5 innings. But he remained composed while the defense wobbled, and battled his way through to leave the game with a 3-1 lead.

    Beckett has impressed me with his growth. I like what I see so far.

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  4. kinshane

    10 years ago

    ConsiderThis, the Mnookmeister is right, though. Beckett does look a lot better, but we can’t very well say he has turned the page until the chips are down against the Spankees, Angels, or White Sox. Then we can see if the “new” Beckett works against decent hitters.

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  5. tinisoli

    10 years ago

    And he’s also letting his catcher call the pitches. That may be the most important adjustment or change he’s made. You can see that all these guys put their trust in Varitek, and so far it’s working pretty well.

    Reply

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