The Red Sox have seen Josh Beckett be very good this year.
They've also seen him be very, very bad, surrendering seven earned runs in short outings against both the Indians and Tigers.
In his Thursday night rematch against Detroit, however, Josh Beckett was, for the first time, simply mediocre.
In Beckett's first nine starts, not once did he allow anywhere between three and seven earned runs. Even on the two occasions when he gave up three, he'd pitched into the seventh inning and had strong peripherals to show for it, with a combined 15 strikeouts and four walks in two such outings.
Thursday, however, Beckett just didn't have it all going on. With a curveball prone to hanging and a fastball that was simply not missing bats, Beckett finished the game with four earned runs in seven innings. It could have been more, given Ryan Sweeney's exceptional defense in the second, but it also could have been less, given the defensive debacle that gave Detroit their fifth inning go-ahead run as Quintin Barry turned a bunt into a triple by stealing second and advancing to third on a bad throw from Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
At the end of the night, there wasn't a lot to like about Beckett's outing. The Tigers had sprayed base hits from foul pole to foul pole, and had only struck out once. The four earned runs--good for a 5.14 ERA--weren't particularly pretty either. But what really matters is what Josh Beckett does from here. His disaster outings have been on some level acceptable this year because of what he's done in his other, good days. But if he's going to go out and give up seven earned every once in a while, the other days have to be better than this.
Then again, perhaps this is just a toned down disaster day. It was, after all, the Tigers that did it to him in the first place, all the way back in early April.
|Final - 5.31.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||0||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||7||2|
|WP: Max Scherzer (5 - 3)
LP: Josh Beckett (4 - 5)