Wednesday, April 04, 2007



It wasn't perfect. It wasn't even what we all hope to get out of Josh Beckett this season. But when the smoke cleared, tonight's box score said that Josh Beckett had pitched effectively enough to earn the win against the Royals.

Beckett threw 94 pitches in five innings and walked four batters. He also struck out five and only allowed two hits. He struggled with his command a bit, but did not allow himself (or Varitek didn't allow him) to lapse into his old fastball-only habits. To his credit, Beckett stuck with the curve, or the slider, or whatever off speed junk he kept trying to throw, even when it wasn't in the strike zone. He managed to get a good number of swings and misses tonight on both the fastball as well as the off speed pitches.

Unfortunately, he was forced to throw a bunch more pitches as Mike Lowell came down with an acute case of A-Rod-itis. Lowell had a good day at the plate, and even made some adept plays in the field, but somehow he managed to make three errors, with two coming on consecutive plays. Still, the KC hitters weren't able to take advantage of Lowell's kindness, mostly due to Beckett's stinginess. While he could have taken the opportunity to get upset and try to blow it by the hitters, Beckett kept his composure when it mattered most and was able to retire the remaining KC hitters without giving up any runs.

Hopefully not lost in the positive display tonight was the performance of the Sox bullpen. Javier Lopez, Kyle Snyder, JC Romero, and Joel Pinero collectively pitched four innings allowing only one hit and no runs. There weren't even any walks given out. Pinero and Romero particularly looked filthy. If the pen is going to throw like this, or more realistically, if the pen is going to throw close to this on a nightly basis, the Sox are going to be very formidable this season.

It feels good after three days to finally get in the win column and get this season going. Did you know before the Sox game was over the Orioles had already finished their third game? (They're 0-3.)

Tomorrow afternoon we get the circus that is Matsuzaka making his big league debut. He'll be opposed by Zack Greinke, a young guy with a lot of talent. Should be worth watching. Unfortunately, I'll be in class, so I'll be following along on the ol' interweb. Thank God for the "series of tubes."

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