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Josh Beckett gives up mammoth homer, takes loss in Dodgers debut

Aug 28, 2012, 12:25 AM EDT

Josh Beckett Getty Images

Josh Beckett was rudely welcomed back to the National League on Monday, getting lit up by very first batter he faced, Tyler Colvin, on his way to taking a loss to the Rockies.

Colvin launched an 0-1 fastball off the facing of the upper deck (here’s the video) to get the Rockies off on the right foot tonight. They went on to win 10-0, knocking the Dodgers 2 1/2 games behind the idle Giants in the NL West.

Making his first start for the Dodgers after Saturday’s big trade with the Red Sox, Beckett ended up allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings. He retired six in a row after the homer, notching three of his six strikeouts in the sequence. The Rockies didn’t get to him again until the fourth, when Chris Nelson tripled and was singled in by D.J. LeMahieu.

The third run came in the sixth, courtesy of singles from Nelson, Jonathan Herrera and pinch-hitter Johnny Rutledge. Rutledge’s hit scored Nelson and resulted in Beckett’s removal.

Jeff Francis got the win for Colorado after throwing five scoreless innings. The Beckett-Francis duel was actually a rematch of Game 1 of the 2007 World Series between Boston and Colorado, which the Red Sox won 13-1.

Beckett has now allowed eight homers in four starts this month after going 12 straight starts from May 15-July 31 without giving up any. He’s 0-5 in his last seven starts and 5-12 with a 5.21 ERA in 133 innings for the season.

Fortunately, the Dodgers weren’t counting on Beckett to be a savior. With his velocity down, it’s doubtful that he’ll return to 2011 form at any point during the season. Still, he should be an upgrade over Joe Blanton at the back of the rotation, and he’ll be a reasonable option as a third or fourth starter come playoff time, should the Dodgers advance.

Beckett is slated to make his home debut for the Dodgers against the Diamondbacks on Saturday. After that, he’ll get a road test against the Giants.

  1. hockeyflow33 - Aug 28, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    There will be a lot more where that came from. Prepare to hate this guy LA

    • elmo - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:49 AM

      Hmm, 3 ER with 6K in 5.2 innings at Coors field is not quite as hate-worthy out here as it may be in Boston. The story tonight is really the zillion-dollar lineup going completely belly-up.

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 28, 2012 at 3:49 AM

        You can put up with his horrendous attitude and complete lack of conditioning when he’s pitching well but when he’s not…..

  2. pisano - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    I hope the Dodgers didn’t think Beckett would find the fountain of youth in LA, this guy has a lot of miles on that arm, and a no.3 or most likely no.4 starter is what their going to get from him. They better hope his attitude doesn’t transfer to the Dodgers as it did in Boston.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:03 AM

      If I were the Dodgers, I would hope that spite would be a good enough motivator. It worked for Clemens, when he went to Toronto. Well, that and the drugs.

      • Old Gator - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:52 AM

        I dunno. The air in LA has all the vitamins and minerals, not to mention heavy metals, free radicals, greenhouse gasses and designer carcinogens that an adult normally needs to take. Josh’s nutritional requirements will be serviced with every breath.

  3. bw1980 - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    As a Red Sox fan, I have no issue with the current Dodgers regime (though I hate the O’Malleys for taking them from Brooklyn) and certainly not their fans.

    But seeing Josh Beckett fail, proving not that he’s washed up–I don’t think that he is–but that he is not a serious professional (poor conditioning leading to nagging injuries, bad attitude) I can only do one thing :-) :-) :-)

    • bw1980 - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:35 AM

      Keep the thumbs down coming. I’ll take thumbs down for telling the truth all night!!

      • Jeremy T - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:52 AM

        If you insist…

  4. spudatx - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    “[…] Josh Beckett should be an upgrade over Joe Blanton […]”

    Um, yeah. It’s not yesteryear anymore. I think Blanton is the better pitcher this year when we compare the two. At the rate Beckett inhales fried chicken and beer, Blanton may even be the favorite next year as well.

    • CJ - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:26 AM

      I agree. For the first time in his career, Blanton is looked at as a better option than another pitcher, and one of the reasons in his favor is his conditioning. Oh, the irony.

  5. badintent - Aug 28, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Josh, you can take him out of Boston, can’t take the Boston out of him, BAD players, bad coaches, bad management, bad owner, bad media, bad fans, and really bad Pizza ! Did I mention the left wing politics ??Hope that huge Greenland Glacier slams into Boston Harbour at 20 knots !

    • jaguar49 - Aug 28, 2012 at 2:51 AM

      Bitter, bitter, bitter…What happened, did your mom refuse to take your dinner down to you in her basement? Idiot.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:13 AM

        Good lord, he posted this at 2:30 in the morning. What is the matter with some people?

      • Old Gator - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:01 AM

        I like that bit about left wing politics. Hey, speaking of which, isn’t Mitt Romney talking to reporters down at the convention today about all those ruffled Tea Party feathers?

    • hockeyflow33 - Aug 28, 2012 at 3:52 AM

      You’re talking about one of the top 3 teams in baseball over the last decade. Say what you will about this year and this completely unlikeable team but the franchise has been anything but bad since this ownership group took over

      • paperlions - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:53 AM

        Yes, but sadly, ownership gone Jerry Jones on Boston….the people they hired made things look easy and ownership thought they had more to do with the winning than they did….and they started to meddle more and more, and they screwed it all up…all they had to do was stay the coarse on their rebuild for a year, instead ownership bowed to pressure from fans/media and loved to see their names in headlines a little too much, and they abandoned the plan in lieu of acquiring big names. Enjoy watching Rizzo and Kelly…they could have been RS players.

        Funny, people in Boston love to hate on Theo…but when the Cubs owner went around asking people in the industry what he could do to turn around his franchise, the nearly universal answer was “hire Theo Epstein”.

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:25 PM

        I don’t think you can be too mad because they were trying to win at all costs which worked out well for the majority of the time here.

        In terms of the Gonzo trade, based upon the facts at the time, it’s hard to disagree with it. Prospects very rarely come as advertised and the downfall of the trade is that the guy just didn’t have the make-up to play in a major market.

      • bw1980 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:35 AM


        “Funny, people in Boston love to hate on Theo…but when the Cubs owner went around asking people in the industry what he could do to turn around his franchise, the nearly universal answer was “hire Theo Epstein”.”

        True but then Theo Epstein was also the man who, after saying for years that the Red Sox did not negotiate contracts during the season, gave Josh Beckett a huge extension in mid-season last year. This contract came at a time when Josh Beckett hadn’t been consistently good since 2007 and out of all his years in the league has finished in the top 10 in CY Young voting twice in his career with one of those finishes being ninth receiving 2% of the vote.

        Epstein also signed Edgar Renteria, Drew, Smoltz, Colon, traded for Gagne. There were a couple of years when this team, with one extra piece, might have gotten over the top again. Instead he went out and signed, from money standpoint, low risk/low reward and from a talent standpoint high risk/low reward veterans past their primes.

        I think Epstein got a lot more credit than he deserved.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 28, 2012 at 4:43 PM

      Boston has really good pizza in the New York style. Luckily, you don’t have to put up with the arrogant NY assholes when you get pizza in Boston.

  6. aceshigh11 - Aug 28, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    Beckett is simply WELL past his prime.

    He was NEVER an “ace” for any extended period of time. As Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe continually points out, he had precisely ONE season with the Sox where he was an ace-caliber pitcher from the beginning through to end end (2007).

    Everything that has transpired since that glorious season has been one long and maddening sequence of dominant starts punctuated with flashes of his youthful brilliance, followed by extended periods of horrific ineffectiveness, plus trips to the DL for good measure.

    Now…couple that tedious, unending loop of pitching instability with a loathsome attitude and nearly-unparalleled arrogance, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster, especially under the klieg lights of the Boston sports media.

    Part of me wishes the guy well simply because of my fond memories of the 2007 season, but it’s probably over for him. He’s no better than a #3 (MAYBE a #2) starter at this point, and it will only get worse as he ages and loses athletic ability.

    • bw1980 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:28 AM

      I’ve said this here and elsewhere for four years. The “ace” designation was entirely undeserved and, in fairness was not something for which Beckett asked.

  7. bengalsfan19 - Aug 28, 2012 at 5:10 AM

    first class, white trash. nice outing josh

    • 18thstreet - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      A human being woke up this morning, and wrote this at 5:10 a.m.

      Get a life, BengalsFan19.

      • hockeyflow33 - Aug 28, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        Imagine that there are some people who work overnight shifts, early shifts or just early to start the day….the horror!

  8. personalspaceinvader - Aug 28, 2012 at 5:33 AM

    Matthew, his name is Josh Rutledge. Not Johnny. The Rutlegend is also acceptable.

  9. drewsylvania - Aug 28, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    A) Usual misleading lead-in.
    B) Tyler Colvin batting leadoff. Why hasn’t Hurdle been fired already?

    • heelbostonfan - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:37 AM

      Hurdle still manages the Rockies?

  10. stoutfiles - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    I hope we don’t get an article about everytime Beckett blows or Crawford goes 0 for 4. It’s going to be a lot.

  11. oldpaddy - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    I wish he pitched that well for the sox this season…

  12. temporarilyexiled - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    What a heartworming story.

  13. stex52 - Aug 28, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Three runs in 5-2/3 innings. About an average start for a #3/#4 pitcher. Why is this an interesting story? If we weren’t all forced to read on this site all of the whinings from the Boston media machine, who would have even noticed?

    • manchestermiracle - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      It would appear that these articles would appeal to the fans of the irrelevant RS. Following ex-Sox players might be more interesting than following the team as it sinks into oblivion.

    • bw1980 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:38 AM

      Why is it a story? Well, could it be that the Dodgers just swalled a $15M/year contract for the next two seasons for a 3/4 starter? I think that’s a story.

  14. tfbuckfutter - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    I think overall Beckett will thrive in Los Angeles, and the reason is pretty simple….L.A. is incredibly superficial. So while his giant beer gut may have helped him fit in in Boston, no one in L.A. wants to hang up with a tub of goo.

    Thus, he’ll be forced to lose the gut, his conditioning will improve, and he’ll stop sucking.

    • severinsmith - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      Nope. Beckett will be Beckett. The world is wrong, he is right. He’ll continue the beer and chicken thing, tell the media to f-off, and explain his bad nights as “I just f-ing s@cked tonight”, which is true, but doesn’t justify him getting the salary he gets.

      Sorry to see Gonzalez go, but totally accept him being gone if it got rid of Beckett, never mind JD Drew – I mean Carl Crawford.

      Oh and the quiet guy on the end is Nick Punto. He’s nice. You won’t see much of him.

    • bw1980 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:41 AM

      You kidding me? This guy is a beer swillin’, fried chicken devourin’, tobacco chewin’ red neck from Texas. He doesn’t give a shit about fashion, friends or success.

      The guy wants his paycheck and then he wants to golf eighteen or shit shoot out in the woods.

  15. theboysofdallas - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Hurdle manages the pirates idiot

  16. Old Gator - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    You know, that term “mammoth homer” makes me envision a huge, hairy elephant sitting in the bleachers, honking curses at the umpires and rooting mindlessly for the Prudhoe Bay Harpoons.

  17. psousa1 - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    When Beckett was on top of his game his fastball was 95-96 with a great changeup of 88mph or so. Now his fastball is 89-91 and his changeup doesn’t have much separation.

  18. psousa1 - Aug 28, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    That being said. Gonzalez is a great friggin hitter and Crawford did not play well last year – he just looked lost. When he came back this year for 3-4 weeks he showed flashes of his old self. He will play well for them. Beckett just is not an effective MLB pitcher. There were guys, like Schilling, who when he lost his 95-98 mph fastball he reinvented himself. The 2007 world series team Schilling won 16 games (I think) while spotting his 91–93 mph fastball. Beckett was still pitching like he could still get away with making a mistake in the strike zone. Now it gets crushed.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 28, 2012 at 4:46 PM

      Beckett made the same mistake last season over and over, until he was exposed as the has-been he really is. I’m glad he’ll have to come up to the plate and bat in the National League, so that if he head hunts, his head will be hunted, too.

  19. stercuilus65 - Aug 28, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Really so much after one so-so outing in the best hitters park in MLB?

    People must be desperate..

  20. coachhowi - Aug 28, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Dodgers have lost 2-3 since the blockbuster trade!!!!!!! just saying!!!!!

  21. jimeejohnson - Aug 28, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Red Sox have won 2 of 3 since the trade. Still, the Dodgers are in a pennant race while the Red Sox are not. Boston’s got better seafood, Los Angles has better fruit and veggies. Boston has Martha’s Vineyard, Los Angles has Catalina Island. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind living in Boston part of the time and Los Angeles the rest. Just kidding: both cities are a traffic nightmare of monumental proportions.

    • bw1980 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:43 AM

      It’s the F**king Catalina Wine Mixer

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