In his postseason career, Josh Beckett has been nearly un-hittable.
Not so in his two starts this postseason. Last night, Josh Beckett gave up eight runs, yes eight. He didn't have very good command and missed pitch locations several times allowing the Tampa Bay Rays hitters to turn them into home runs.
There is clearly something wrong with Josh Beckett. There have been rumors that he gets bored and needs a challenge. He didn't pitch his best during the regular season only going 12-10. His earned run average was up also this year.
Is Beckett tired from all the pitches he threw last year? Doubtful. The man isn't bored either, he still has that swagger of dominance that he has always had. So there must be another reason.
Josh Beckett slightly strained his oblique muscle two weeks ago, the Red Sox say they caught the injury before he actually hurt himself.
They waited to pitch him in the American League Divisonal Series until game three to give him time to heal. The man is a gamer and isn't going to make excuses for his poor pitching performance, nor will he tell you he is hurt.
But that just has to be the case with this guy, who has given up 12 runs in just two postseason starts this year, but only 14 in his nine other postseason starts in 2003 and 2007.
The Rays and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are great teams, but they can't be that great because they scored 12 runs in just over nine innings off of Josh Beckett.
I'm going to bet that Beckett is hurt, and causing one of baseball's clutch performers to grossly under perform. There is just no other solid explanation for it. He was handed the lead on three occasions last night, and quickly served up home runs to Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton, and then got knocked around for three more runs in the fifth inning.
If the Boston Red Sox plan on winning this series, they had better make sure that Beckett is okay to pitch his next start. He is scheduled to pitch game six if the series makes it that far, which seems fairly likely based on the regular season history between the Sox and Rays.
Josh, if you are hurting—let everyone know. You can sit one out.
The Sox still have Paul Byrd on the ALCS roster, an experienced veteran who can be trusted. If you just don't have it right now, step up and show us the real Josh Beckett.