Blog Entry

Beckett struggling to produce

Posted on: August 20, 2010 11:21 am
Josh Beckett In the beginning of April, Josh Beckett inked a four-year, $65 million extension with the Red Sox that will keep him in town through 2014.

What were the Red Sox supposed to get in return for that financial outlay? Well, while his sublime season of 2007 looks to be the exception rather than the norm, Beckett had settled in as a solid No. 2 starter in the ultra-competitive AL East Division -- and the BoSox expected that trend to continue.

That extension isn't looking so hot at the moment as Beckett was burned for at least six runs for the third straight start Thursday against the Angels. That pushed his ERA to 6.67 on the season in 12 starts, erasing all the positive momentum he had gained in his first three starts since coming off the disabled list for a lower back strain.

However, pitching coach John Farrell refused to bite on Beckett's ineffectiveness, telling the Boston Globe that he sees some things to be pleased with.

"His fastball was down in the zone," Farrell said. "He threw some curveballs that he was able to finish some hitters off with. I think that’s been one of the more encouraging signs, is that in the six starts that he’s had since coming back, his curveball has shown more consistency, more of a true weapon. [I] thought he was down in the zone for the most part with his fastball, except for the sixth inning.

“I think it’s going to be key for [Beckett] to recognize there were a lot more positives than maybe the linescore indicates."

Beckett's fastball clearly hasn't been up to snuff and is being battered around like never before in his career. As a result, Beckett is using his heater the least amount he has in his career. He's hurling it 57.3 percent of the time which is significantly off his 65.3 percent mark. To make up for the loss in fastball effectiveness, the righty has significantly boosted his cut-fastball, which he began to throw marginally when joining Boston in 2005. Since then, however, the cutter has morphed into a trusted part of his arsenal, just behind his curveball in usage.

Does that mean Beckett should abandon his fastball? Absolutely not. His fastball is his calling card and what has pushed him to his streaks of dominance in the past. As Farrell alludes to, Beckett has had trouble locating his fastball, which is the prime culprit in fastball ineffectiveness. A grand slam to Hideki Matsui that blew the game open was on a fastball middle-in, not down and away.

For the Red Sox to have any hope of making up their seemingly-constant 6 1/2 game deficit, Beckett's got to pitch better. The rotation can be one of the best in the game, but it's also tenuous. The only constant is Jon Lester, while John Lackey hasn't impressed in his first season wearing red socks and Daisuke Matsuzaka cannot be trusted.

Clay Buchholz has the lowest ERA in the majors, but while he's been strong, has also been lucky with a 4.22 xFIP and luck can turn on a dime. That may be just what Beckett needs, as his 4.09 xFIP shows that while he's been hit hard, he's also been unlucky. Buchholz may hope the dime stays away from him, but Beckett might want to go through his pockets.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:10 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 12, 2011 12:12 am

Beckett struggling to produce

Which can be entirely specially having their first go my lifestyle as well as tips guide emphatically open this tender.Thank you for enjoying with us your knowledge.

Since: Jun 21, 2009
Posted on: August 21, 2010 5:44 pm

Beckett struggling to produce

It does seem like Beckett's creputation is based more on what he did in 2007 than what he's done since or before that. That does make him overrated, like it or not. Hard to believe Red Sox management gave him such a contract this past offseason, but we'll have to see what the next 2 yrs are like before totally writing off that deal as a dud.

As far as the Sox having 3 starters who can match any top 3 in the majors, I hope you aren't suggesting Beckett/Bucholz/Lester. I'd take the Cardinals', Giants' or Phillies' top 3 over any combination the Red Sox have in a heartbeat.

Since: Mar 1, 2007
Posted on: August 21, 2010 4:53 pm

Beckett struggling to produce

yea, your right...Always been overated?? What are you a joker?? He won a couple of world series there...Go back to sleep and get a clue!!

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: August 21, 2010 1:33 pm

Beckett struggling to produce

I completed my undergrad at UMass in Sport Mgt. When you respond to an article on a messageboard, who cares about spelling or grammar? Besides some so-called professional articles in the New York Times and other newspapers have misspellings and gramatical errors.

The Sox do not have 5 aces, but they do have 5 comepetitors and 3 starters who can match any other top 3 in the majors. Their offense is strong despite several injuries and they do have the ability to finish with 96-98 wins if they pull together. 

Keep the faith alive, and go Sox!!!

Since: Aug 20, 2010
Posted on: August 20, 2010 9:24 pm

Happless Redsox

No Im not going to suggest they should have traded for J. A. Happ!  Who is the leader of that team?  Pedroia goes down and they lay an egg with Lester on the mound.  Its a joke!  Someone needs to step up say, C'mon fellas were gonna go out there an kick some arse. 

I think Beckett is lazy and and takes his job for granted!  Perhaps this guy is another Pavano.  If he is I feel really bad for the Red Sox 


1. Die Hard Yankee Fan
2. Fantasy owner of Pedroia, Beckett, Matsuzaka, and last but not least Pavano!

PS - Pedroia and Beckett are killing me

Since: Sep 2, 2008
Posted on: August 20, 2010 7:09 pm

Beckett struggling to produce

Why did you put the word "should" in quotations? If you're using quotations to suggest irony, I don't follow. Otherwise, I'm not really sure it added anything to your post. 
Thanks for invoking the grammar police into this thread. 

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: August 20, 2010 4:51 pm

Beckett struggling to produce

This is one of the funniest posts I've read in years.  Thanks for the memories.

And the Red Sox "should" live up to their $170 million potential and shrug off their injuries, winning 33 to 35 of their last 40.  After all, they have 5 aces, don't they?  And don't they really "hate to lose," too?  If anyone else can read this stuff without howling with laughter, let me know.
I sincerely hope UMass didn't give you a diploma.  Not that spelling is directly tied to intelligence, but your 'competitor' gave me a few chuckles, too.  Then again, sloppy thinking usually goes with sloppy editing.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: August 20, 2010 4:02 pm

Beckett struggling to produce

Beckett has solid stuff. He has a well above average fastball and a top line curveball.  His changeup could probably improve and he has struggled from time to time with the location of some of his pitches. He should come around and win 5-6 of his last 7-8 starts since he is a competator and absolutely hates to lose.

Since: Nov 19, 2008
Posted on: August 20, 2010 3:46 pm

Beckett struggling to produce

what is wrong with him? Other than the fact that he blows, its finally starting to show, and he has been one of the most overrated pitchers for years? Nothing.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or