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Josh Beckett implodes in loss to Yankees

May 8, 2010, 10:30 AM EST

Josh Beckett.jpgYou wouldn’t know it by looking solely at the 10-3 final score, but aside from a three-run homer by Nick Swisher, Josh Beckett was actually pitching pretty well against the Yankees on Friday. Until the sixth inning, that is.

Beckett lost complete control of the strike zone during the frame, hitting Robinson Cano in the left knee and Derek Jeter in the back and walking Francisco Cervelli with the bases loaded. Alex Rodriguez led off the inning with a double to left center field, but from there, it was true station-to-station baseball as the Yankees kept taking advantage of Beckett’s mistakes, scoring six runs and putting the game completely out of reach.

Here’s how Beckett described the meltdown to Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe:

“I just had no idea where the ball
was going,” Beckett said. “Hit Cano with a cutter, and then Jeter with
the bases loaded with a sinker in. Trying to throw the ball too hard.
Just trying to throw better pitches instead of worry about location,
worrying about velocity.

“Just
when you try to overthrow like that, your delivery gets all messed up.
You’re not worried about execution. That’s what you should be worried
about.”

For what it’s worth, Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters that he didn’t think Beckett hit anyone on purpose, saying that “sometimes things go a little haywire.”

Haywire is a bit of an understatement right now, as the $68-million man has a 7.46 ERA through his first seven starts. He has allowed at least seven runs in three out of his last four starts. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt for now, as his strand rate and batting average on balls in play are completely wacky, but the fact that he is averaging 3.51 BB/9 — highest since 2003 — while striking out less batters and allowing more line drives is troubling.

  1. adam - May 8, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    “You wouldn’t know it by looking solely at the 9-1 final score”
    The final score was 10-2.

  2. Nasty Boy - May 8, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    It’s a good thing Theo gave him that contract extension , because you don’t want another team to take him away from you . The next brilliant move from Theo is sure to be giving Ortiz an extension .

  3. Jeremy T - May 8, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    10-3, actually

  4. justin - May 8, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    He must have been so pissed that he changed channels at 9-1 . Can you blame him ?

  5. Old Gator - May 8, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    It’s no coincidence that his career is going to hell at the same time that he gets engaged. What did he have to go do that for? He’s seen this scenario, too. His former teammate Dontrelle Willis was cruising along, ends a pretty decent season and gets married – and the next thing you know, he’s being busted for getting drunk and pissing on the sidewalk on South Beach, he loses the zone and starts serving beachballs, and it’s taken him four years to begin to get his shit back together.Expect Josh to come back from his honeymoon having lost about nine inch…er, nine MPH off his fastball. And it’ll get worse from there.
    .
    Accountants have their HP calculators to fall back on. Surgeons have nurses and anesthesiologists to point out to them that they’re sewing the old heart back by mistake. Pilots have copilots to point out that they’ve overflown their destination city, unless they fly for Delta. And bloggers are blessed with anonymity and can write any stupid thing they want without fear of having some ex-lawyer from Columbus get a restraining order against them. Pitchers are naked out there where their wives, who are in some mysterious way the source of all their problems anyway, can’t help them worth doodly squat even if they had any idea what to do in the first place. Well, yes, and naked under a variety of other strange circumstances, usually when on the road. But the point is, marriage and baseball don’t mix, unless she’s the GM’s daughter and you really like where you’re playing.

  6. D.J. Short - May 8, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    Turns out we’re both wrong. It was 10-3. I was obviously thinking about the score after Beckett left the game. Apologies.

  7. SouthofHeaven - May 8, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    Yeah, the final was 10-3, it was 9-1 when Beckett left the game.
    And no way do I believe that he wasn’t head-hunting.

  8. D.J. Short - May 8, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    Thanks for the heads up, though, Adam.

  9. Spice - May 8, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    Beckett is a pitcher that could have been great if not for the slef control and maturity of a 7 year old.

  10. Spice - May 8, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    And if I could type and proof read…….

  11. A guy - May 8, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    Old Gator, that has to go down as the strangest, most misogynistic rant-response to a pitcher’s troubles I’ve ever seen.

  12. Sonny - May 8, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    Last night shouldn’t have been a shock to anyone . Going into last nights game his era was around five and a half against the Yankees . He will usually start off good, as he did last night , but they usually catch up with him . If I were Theo I would worry about the rest of the teams he is going to face ,and the extension he was dumb enough to give Beckett . I honestly think he’s in decline . Four more years ? I don’t think so .

  13. lanny - May 8, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Dude , He’s from Texas , case closed .

  14. Old Gator - May 8, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    That’s only because you missed some of my previous ones. Anyway, I’m not misogynistic. I just don’t like women.

  15. Fuzzball the Magnificent - May 8, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    “But the point is, marriage and baseball don’t mix, unless she’s the GM’s daughter and you really like where you’re playing.”
    Gator–See Joe Cronin. Even marrying the owner’s daughter (technically his niece) can’t always save you.

  16. Old Gator - May 9, 2010 at 12:30 AM

    Especially not if the GM gets canned – or if he never particularly liked the idea of his daughter marrying a steenkin’ baseball player in the first place, what with all his firsthand knowledge of the beasts…

  17. Mel - May 9, 2010 at 12:59 AM

    Anyone who saw Beckett pitch that night and doesn’t realize he was intentionally head hunting, regardless of the score or the circumstances, is crazy. He totally let his emotions get the best of him. When he dusted Cervelli and made him hit the dirt, that was strategic. The Cano beaning was crystal clear intentional.
    Im not saying some pitches didn’t get away from him, but at some point he made the decision that if he couldn’t win, then he was just going to do some damage.

  18. Big Harold - May 9, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    People are trying hard to deflect criticism of Beckett by pointing to the situation and saying it made no sense for him to intentionally hit a batter under those conditions. Well, while the logic is correct I think you may be on to something here;
    “…but at some point he made the decision that if he couldn’t win, then he was just going to do some damage.”
    The problem is he’d NEVER admit that and it’s impossible to prove. Myself, I think he realized he was getting his behind handed to him and at some point stopped caring if whether he hit anybody. But, in the end it doesn’t matter anyway. Whether he did it because he lost control, stopped being concerned or was intentionally try to “do some damage”, at some point he has to be held responsible for his actions. And, by virtue of the DH rule his teammates need to pay.
    Sabathia drilling Pedroia in the ass made it clear that Buckett head needed to get regain his composure and control or else. More importantly,that Yankee hitters aren’t fair game as in the Torre era. And, it was worth giving up the lead for it too. It’s a lesson that will carry through the entire season so it was worth a two run homer and even the game if need be.

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