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Tag:Beckett
Posted on: April 5, 2011 3:56 pm
 

Beckett Poised to Jumpstart Red Sox Season

Hopefully Josh Beckett can get the Red Sox started on the path everyone believes they are destined to go down this year. I'm not sure what sign Beckett is, nor do I particularly believe in astrology, but everything seems to be aligned to make this a nearly perfect situation to begin a bounceback year for both Josh and the Sox.
Josh Beckett is a big game pitcher; there is no better proof than his 2003 World Series MVP Award against the New York Yankees. More relevant to Red Sox fans was his pitching against Cleveland in 2007 that sparked a comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the ALCS. His record in that series was a stellar 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA; this effort garnered him the ALCS MVP Award. He continued that effort with a winning effort in the World Series that year in game one against the Colorado Rockies by pitching seven innings and only allowing one run off six hits, with nine strikeouts.
This game is not of the same magnitude as those previous, but the Red Sox need a jumpstart, and Beckett may be just the person to give it. His psyche still tells him that he's capable of being the ace of that staff, even with great young pitchers in Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. He's still got the heart of a champion, and he knows how to carry a team that needs a lift.  
There are other factors that may lead to a breakout game by the Sox. Red Sox hitters aren't accustomed to long losing streaks, and the mix of veterans and young players should lend to a hitters' delight tonight. It's also the Cleveland Indians; this isn't to say that the Indians aren't a good team, it's just to state the obvious that they aren't on the same level as the Sox. They can certainly beat the Sox on any given night, but I'd be willing to bet that out of 100 games, the Sox would win 95 of them with current lineups. This isn't the Indians team of the early nineties when Manny roamed their outfield, and Bartolo Colon aced a staff that annually made them contenders. This is a team working with some young talented players to rebuild.
Josh Beckett will undoubtedly get these young and veteran free-swingers to flail hopelessly at his pitches. He worked on some mechanical issues in the spring, and showed some comfort in his last outing of the spring when he pitched five innings allowing only one hit. Those mechanics are starting to feel more like second nature to him, hopefully that means great things for the Red Sox. They certainly need a shot in the arm at this early juncture in the season. Hopefully one of the most clutch pitchers in recent memory can prove that he's just the guy to give the ball to.
Posted on: April 4, 2011 7:45 pm
 

Are the Red Sox in Trouble?

The Red Sox got swept in a three-game series against the Rangers to start this season. Sure the Rangers are a very good team; they were in the World Series last year, but are they that good? Or are the Red Sox just stinking up the joint to start the season? Nothing has gone particularly well for the Sox.
The hitters aren't firing on all cylinders, though some normally slow starters are showing some very nice early signs of life for the first time in a few seasons--David Ortiz are you listening? Thank you for hitting this April. Carl Crawford is being moved down in the batting order to seventh to take the pressure of the guy. He's apparently trying too hard. Woudln't you be trying super hard after signing a 9-figure deal in the offseason to play for one of the most storied franchises in baseball history? I'm not a fan of moving a guy down after three games. It's too small of a sample size to lower his confidence even more. Can you imagine the conversation in Tito's office: Carl, we're moving you down in the order to try to get you out of this funk that you're in. We think you're trying too hard. Carl sulks away from the office thinking he's the third-worst hitter in the Sox lineup; he's only better than Saltalamacchia and Scooter. If his confidence was waivering before, just think how it is now. Tito just pushed him off the ledge! Thank goodness Crawford is the professional that he is. He was able to understand that it was not a blow to the confidence the team has in him, but only a way to allow him some time to work out the kinks. He bounced back nicely with a couple of hits in his first game batting out of the seven hole. Crawford will be fine, and his stats will adjust as the year goes on, as will his confidence. I'm sure Francona will put him back at the front of the lineup once he shows signs of life.
 
 
 
 
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