Last night Josh Beckett reminded me why I ultimately don’t care about Aaron Boone. Last night Josh Beckett reminded me of how excited I was when I heard the Red Sox traded Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez for him and Mike Lowell. Last night Josh Beckett reminded me that there is a reason he has two rings on his fingers. Last night Josh Beckett reminded me why the Red Sox made it a priority to re-sign him to a 5 year $80 million extension. And last night Josh Beckett reminded me why I affectionately named him Cy Beckett, much to the chagrin of some of my NTCF colleagues.
In case you haven’t gotten the picture, last night Josh Beckett was simply awesome. He pitched 8 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits and one walk, while striking out ten. He kept the Yankees more off-balance than Miguel Cabrera during a field sobriety test. Media and fans alike were worried about Beckett after his dismal season last year wondering if the Sox made a mistake signing the potential ace of the staff to a long-term deal. Writers were claiming that Beckett didn’t have an out pitch and claiming that he was a thrower, not a pitcher. Claiming that he needed Jason Varitek behind the plate in order to succeed. While I realize Varitek was behind the plate last night, I believe if Pee Wee Herman was behind the plate, Beckett still would have been untouchable.
Doesn’t have an out pitch? Beckett’s fastball topped out at 95 MPH. He featured a disgusting back door curve ball that the Yankees had given up on, only to be punched out on. His change-up reminded me of Saturday morning Bugs Bunny cartoons. Josh Beckett was that damn good last night.
All in all last night was a meaningless April game where players are still shaking the rust off. But last night was a very important start for Beckett. This is a start unlike any other he has had in the past two seasons. The fact that his dominance came against the Yankees, a team that usually bashes him, makes it all the more sweeter and important. Going into last night, Red Sox fans were justifiably nervous about their team and namely their pitching staff. The team was 1-7 and only had one starter go deeper than the fifth inning (Jon Lester vs the Indians). The rest of the Sox pitching was getting smoked to the tune of an ERA north of 7.
Last night, Josh Beckett helped put Red Sox Nation at ease, if only for one night. Make no doubt about it, this is only one start and the Red Sox aren’t asking for Beckett to be great every fifth day, just consistent. Last night Josh Beckett reminded everyone that he is still a bad ass. He reminded us that while Jon Lester may have the “ace” title, this is his staff and his team.