Reports from the Globe and CSN confirm he left last night without saying goodbye. Was that because Josh Beckett was angry with himself for not shutting down the Birds? Was it because he didn’t want to get caught saying something nasty about Marco Scutaro, whose error ended up being a big factor in the game. Or was he simply hot at the Boston Herald for yesterday’s headline that used the word “USELESS” to describe the 2010 Becks & Lacks Show? My gut says the prize is behind door number three and if that is the case, I think the sensitive Josh Beckett just forfeited his right to be called a rough and tumble “Texan.”
I don’t care about media-relations etiquette as much some people, particularly print journalists who depend on locker room thoughts to include in their game stories. But I have to ask myself … what the hell is going on with Josh Beckett? It’s one thing that he has lost some giddy-up off his fastball. But it’s another thing that he seems to have lost his balls. After all, this is a guy who has won three post-season games where his team faced elimination and he pitched well out of the pen in another. And this is a guy who basically told the Cleveland Indians to go fuck themselves when they invited his ex to sing the national anthem before game five of the 2007 ALCS. Let the record show, this guy has never been testicularly challenged. But now? Now he is worried about the Herald and a little criticism? Message to Josh … if you don’t want to be called useless, make yourself useful, as you did last night.
I’m not sure the Herald is planning on running a retraction anytime soon but the fact of the matter is Beckett was pretty good last night. That he lost, which was in large part due to Scutaro’s flub, is unfortunate but hardly a huge deal. Instead, it was good to see him pump up the velocity after a first inning when he was sitting 92-93. And outside of losing a ten-pitch war with Roberts, I thought Beckett put in an honest night’s work. Give me twenty-five of those next year and I will be content. Better yet, if you guarantee 100 more of those over the next four years, I will sign on the dotted line.
POINTS OF INTEREST:
* Marco Scutaro has no business playing right now. He clearly was having trouble throwing the ball down in Tampa and last night, his busted wing caused him to eat one ball and throw another away. This guy looks like he should be shut down for the season, not locked into the lineup EVERY NIGHT. I just don’t understand what this guy has done to deserve the treatment he receives. And it’s particularly odd given the fact that Lowrie is currently healthy and hitting.
* Is Brian Matusz going to be one of “those” guys for the Red Sox? It’s not a great sign when a first-year lefty and division rival is already having success against you.
BIG PLAY: I love Darnell but he isn’t so sharp when it comes to math. Why he froze on Beltre’s two-out single to left in the sixth is beside me unless he thought there was only one out. That ball was rifled and Bogar might have held him up anyways, but McDonald should have been off on contact with two outs. It turned out to be a big play as Lowell got caught looking and the Sox rally ended in nada.
* Through six innings, the Sox two lefties (Drew and Ortiz) were a combined 0-5 with five Ks. Drew broke the streak with a walk off the tiring Matusz to lead off the 7th but last night just further illustrates how exposed these two are to left-handers.
* That thud you heard was Felix Doubront’s success against lefties coming to an end. One was bound to happen and Luke Scott is no schmuck but Felix Pie?
* Hall and Lowrie have done a pretty good job filling in for Pedroia but make no mistake about it, Mike Lowell hasn’t come close to filling Kevin Youkilis’ size 12s. Lowell’s August numbers: .256/.308/.390. I’d expect Lowell’s playing time to ease now that rosters can expand.
* Ortiz righty/lefty splits are now almost as perverted as Carlos Gonzalez home/road splits. For the record, Ortiz OPS is 452 points higher against righties than lefties. Cargo’s bias is more like 500 points but you get the point.
* In other news … Jeremy Hermida was released last night. Chalk that one up as a noodle that didn’t stick to the wall. Quite honestly, I don’t think Hermida has a future in major league baseball. Not with that glove.
FARM REPORT: It was an nice night down below as Lars pumped one out, so did Lavarnway, Rizzo had a two-run knock and Stephen Fife threw a six-inning gem for Portland, which is nice to see given how torched he has been of late. And with just a few games remaining, here are your organizational RBI leaders: Ryan Lavarnway 95, Anthony Rizzo 94 and Luis Exposito has 90. Hopefully, and with plenty of luck, that will be the DH, the 1B and the Catcher of the 2013 Eastern Division Champs.