He was supposed to be resting a sore lat muscle but hit the links instead. The worst part about it was that he missed a start.
When he did make his next start he only lasted 2.1 innings against the Cleveland Indians. He allowed seven runs, seven hits and two home runs. He exited the game to a chorus of boos from the Fenway Faithful.
After the game he showed no contrition for the golf outing. He would not even acknowledge how the golf outing could be perceived in a negative light.
His post-game press conference with went down like this:
Question: Any regrets?
Answer: My off day is my off day.
Question: Given that you were skipped a start with what was described as a tight lat muscle, do people have the right to question why you were golfing?
Answer: Not on my off day.
Question: Do you understand the perception that leaves when the team is playing as poorly as it is?
Answer: We get 18 off days a year. I think we deserve a little time to ourselves. (h/t USA Today)
It seemed the death knells were ringing on Beckett’s time with Boston.
But then something happened.
He started pitching like the Beckett of old. He started pitching like the Beckett who was the undeniable ace of Boston’s staff.
He is 4-6 on the season with a 4.04 ERA. He has 51 strikeouts in 71.1 innings pitched.
But it is what he has done since that 2.1 inning disaster against Cleveland that has Boston fans excited.
Since May 10 Beckett’s ERA is 2.21. He has struck out 25 batters and has walked only five in 36.2 innings pitched. Opponents are only batting .227 against Beckett in that time frame.
After the game Bobby Valentine told the Boston Herald, “Those are eight of the best innings I’ve seen all year. He was efficient with great stuff, all of his pitches. We’ll take that every time out.”
He has retaken his throne. Beckett is once again Boston’s ace.