To say that Josh Beckett had a lot riding on his second start of the season today would be a dramatic understatement. The Red Sox’ number two starter came under scrutiny after he allowed 5 HR in just 4 2/3 innings April 7 against the Tigers and the fans were understandably unhappy.
A miserable September collapse that ended in a media circus had Beckett being outed as a “ringleader”. Couple that with a miserable debut to the 2012 season and it’s safe to say the fans were ready and willing to throw him under the bus as fast as someone in the organization did, but the egotistical kinda guy that Josh is–he wasn’t going to let that happen.
Instead he came prepared and the results reflect it.
Beckett’s Final Line–8 IP, 5H, 1ER, 1BB, 1K
Getting 8 innings from a guy that you weren’t sure would make it out of the fifth is plenty but he actually could have finished the game if it wasn’t for a ninth inning shellacking put on by the Red Sox offense.
Once the Red Sox had put 12 runs on the board Bobby Valentine elected to give his struggling reliever Mark Melancon some work in a low pressure situation.
The pitching from Beckett was encouraging but the offense shouldn’t go overlooked either. When a team is struggling to put up runs the way the Sox were, theres no better cure than a 12 run showing and 8 of those coming in the eighth inning.
Kevin Youkilis showed signs of breaking out of a slump that’s plagued him since spring training with a 2 for 4 performance and 3 RBI in the game. Youk’s one of those players that can carry a team when he’s hot so a breakout from him would be huge.
Backup catcher Kelly Shoppach showed his value throughout the game with 3 hits in 4 at bats, a stolen base and 3 runs scored. Keep in mind that only 1 of Shoppach’s AB’s came against the lefty David Price–the rest came against right handed pitchers.
The Red Sox offense showed a new lease on life in the game but these days when you have a positive, the negative is sure to follow and that was exactly the case in this one.
Jacoby Ellsbury drove in Kelly Shoppach with a single in the bottom of the fourth. Dustin Pedroia followed with a groundball double play but Jacoby slid hard into second and Reid Brignac fell onto him, landing on his shoulder. Ellsbury winced in pain and grabbed at the shoulder while the trainers attended to him and took him out of the game.
As of now I haven’t heard anything more than a “right shoulder injury” but as soon as we know you will too.
In all today’s home opener at Fenway was largely successful and the Red Sox are now 2-5… Enjoy the rest of your day!