The first pitch Josh Beckett threw last night, a 92 mph fastball, Derek Jeter lined to center field. It was a sign of things to come. The single started a first inning that went from bad to worse as Beckett let up five runs on four hits, a walk and a hit batsman. And though it got better — Beckett cruised through the third and fourth, and squeaked by in the fifth — in the end, the right-hander gave up six earned runs as the Red Sox lost to the Yankees, 10-8. "I was really struggling. I think in the first inning, I just wanted to throw a strike. I didn't care where they hit it," Beckett said. "I was just battling myself with that." After an offseason that was marred by talk of a Beckett-led pitching staff drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse, one might expect the 12-year veteran to come out with a vengeance this season. But that hasn't quite been the case. Though Beckett hasn't been awful, he hasn't shown the dominance that we've seen in years past. At the midpoint of the season Beckett is 4-7 with a 4.43 ERA, and last night wasn't a step in the right direction. After Beckett let Jeter reach, Curtis Granderson singled, Alex Rodriguez got hit by a pitch, and Robinson Cano walked on five pitches with the bases loaded. Mark Teixeira singled to drive in two runs, and Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez each hit sacrifice flies to add two more.
Brutal beginning burns Josh Beckett badly
Boston Herald | Jul 7