Back-ett to Back-Tek Wins
For the second consecutive start, the pitching tandem of Josh Beckett and Jason Varitek walked away victorious. Josh Beckett is looking more and more like the ace of yesteryear. The line score tells the story of today’s well needed victory, 7 innings, 3 hits, 1 earned run and 9 strikeouts. More importantly a dominate 4-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Beckett has won 2/3 of the total team wins. Even more promising are these wins are against two Al East teams, the hated Yankees and the dangerous Blue Jays.
Beckett is now the team leader in wins with 2, ERA of 1.80 and 23 strikeouts. Not too shabby for a man who was demoted this spring to the #4 starter in the rotation. That is until today. With Jon Lester pitching tomorrow instead of Daisuke Matsuzaka, maybe Terry Francona can take full advantage of the situation and continue having Beckett and Lester pitching back to back in the rotation. The way it should have always been.
Still think Jason Varitekshouldn’t be Beckett’s personal catcher? There has been much debate about this subject since Beckett’s gem against the Yankees last Sunday night. Today’s performance should put that discussion once and for all. Not only does the line score prove it, but if you watched the last two games, you would see for yourself. The confidence is back, the swagger that has been missing for 2 years. The Red Sox version of the Dynamic Duo returns to prominence.
It was truly a relief to get our third win of the season, but don’t break out the champagne just yet. This team still has many problems to overcome. The offense is still looking anemic. Not only are the Sox still struggling getting hits in clutch situation, but it is frustrating that they can’t even make a productive outs. They keep getting runners on third with less than two outs and are unable to get them home. After scoring two runs in the bottom of the first, the Sox had bases loaded with no outs. First, Mike Cameron struck out, then Jason Varitek followed suit and went down on strikes. Darnell McDonaldthen grounded out to end the inning, a blown opportunity to bust the game wide open early. Cameron and Varitek couldn’t even muster a sacrifice fly, even a double play would have drove in another run. In the seventh, David Ortiz was on third and Mike Cameron on second with one out, this time pinch hitting J.D. Drew popped out to third and Jacoby Ellsburygrounded out sharply to the third baseman. Another blown opportunity. You can’t expect to win if you can’t play fundamental baseball. It went down by the book today, Beckett thru 7 innings, Daniel Bard in the eighth and closed out by Jonathan Papelbon. Call it “Chicken Soup for the Team” as you will.
Finally, Francona started Jed Lowrieagain. All Lowrie did was get three more hits, his second 3 hit game of the season. Pretty good for a someone who has only started 3 of the first 13 games. His two run homer in the second provided Beckett some breathing room to let him strut his stuff. Hopefully, today’s performance will result in Francona penciling Lowrie’s name in the lineup card for a while.
This was Beckett’s day to shine on a cold dreary afternoon at Fenway. The King of is back to reclaim his throne. Beckett’s next start will be in the city of angels. Good to be looking forward to Beckett’s next game and not dreading it like last year.
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