Vintage Josh Beckett Answers the Bell for Red Sox


It could be easy to dismiss the fine outing delivered by Josh Beckett on Tuesday saying that it was just the Seattle Mariners who he completely dominated.  But whether it was the Mariners or not, the performance given by Beckett was as vintage as we have seen since last season when he was in total control on the mound.  The last time he struck out 9 batters in a game?  You have to go all the way back to May 14, 2011 against the New York Yankees.  He had 8 K’s a couple of times but it’s been almost a year to the date since he last had 9.

I’m not saying all is forgiven or forgotten about with Beckett’s latest snub of Red Sox fans, nor should it be.  He has a long, long, long way to go before the heart and soul of Red Sox Nation will even consider forgiving him for what he’s done over the past nine months and even then it may be too little too late.  Josh Beckett probably doesn’t give two hoots about us but hey, we have the right to voice our displeasure and he certainly heard it last week.

What his latest performance does, on his 32nd birthday, is remind us all that he still has the raw talent to be an elite pitcher at this level and if the Red Sox are to contend, Beckett has to be as good as he was Tuesday night.

His line of 7.0IP, 4 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB and 9K is something to admire.  Not only does Beckett seemed to have refound his form, it was the fifth win for the Sox and the fifth straight game that the starting pitcher looked great.  More importantly the top two arms, Lester and Beckett delivered outings of old over the past two days, giving hope that the season is not lost and that dreams of playing in October are still a reality.

Was he sending a message to management saying ‘hey, I’ve still got it, now go out and trade me’, I don’t think so.  As I said in a post yesterday, dealing Beckett will not be an easy thing to do and at this point of the schedule I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do.  If he can’t replicate this start with similar ones in the near future and goes back to throwing meatballs from the mound and stink bombs in the press room, then perhaps in order to avoid a riot on Yawkey Way a deal is imminent.  But for now #19 answered the bell and rose to the challenge and he delivered the goods we’ve been waiting so patiently to see.  The next challenge for Beckett is to show it to us again.

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