Coming to the Defense of Josh Beckett
After the Red Sox September collapse, and beer and chicken talk in the clubhouse members of the pitching staff were quickly put into question, some more than others. Josh Beckett was someone who was criticized more than anyone on the message boards, sports talk shows and even here on BoSox Injection. A lot of people even called for Red Sox management to trade him, but why?
Uncontrary to popular belief Beckett actually had a pretty good 2011 season. On the year Beckett was 13-7 with a 2.89 ERA. The 193 innings were the fourth most of his career. His 2.89 ERA was his lowest besides his first season in the league when he only started four games. His 175 strikeouts were the third best of his career. Beckett was also an all-star for the third time in his career.
Every starting pitcher struggled in September, it wasn’t just Beckett. Jon Lester went 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA during the month. Beckett was 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA. John Lackey was even worse, 0-2 with a 9.13 ERA. Very similar numbers for Beckett and Lester and ever worse for Lackey — no reason for Beckett to get completely thrown under the bus.
Beckett should have been praised for the season that he had. Coming off a terrible 2010 season where he went 6-6 with a 5.78 ERA no one really knew what to expect from Beckett in 2011. Although the wins don’t reflect it as much, Beckett responded and had one of the better seasons of his career.
Why would the Red Sox want to trade Beckett? With three years remaining on his contract, aside from the 2010 season Beckett has shown no sign of slowing down. He had his second most win total in a season in 2009 and also in that season he pitched the most innings in his 11-season career. Yes, he struggled in 2010, but he bounced back in 2011.
Beckett is only 31 years old. He has a few more years left in the tank. At a time where the Red Sox need stability more than ever, why trade one of the most consistent pitchers in the game? The numbers don’t lie, Beckett can still pitch.
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