Beckett lays a rare October egg
The other day, Josh Beckett was asked how he "digested the idea" of being a Game 2 starter instead of his customary spot, starting Game 1.
He answered in his famously red-ass fashion: "There was no digestion."
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With the retirement of Curt Schilling, Beckett inarguably became the most accomplished postseason starter in baseball. He's been October great since pitching the Marlins to a championship over the Yankees back in 2003. Going into Game 2 at Angels Stadium, he had a 7-2 record in the playoffs. He's 4-0 in LCS play. His World Series ERA is an astonishing 1.16.
But Friday night saw him take his first postseason loss in six years. The Red Sox now find themselves down 2-0 to a team they had beaten nine out of 10 division series games. The Red Sox swept the Angels in '03 and '07, and lost just one game to them last October. That said, a loss with Beckett on the mound becomes especially hard to digest in Boston.
You don't count out the Red Sox, a team that won the World Series after being down 3-0 and 3-1 in the '04 and '07 ALCS. But the aura of invicibility, the sense that they owned the Angels, is over. If they can't win with Beckett on the mound, they can't win. (Come to think of it, they quite suddenly can't hit, either. But more on that later.)
For the record, Beckett said after the game that he "felt good." Translation: his back felt fine. It sure didn't seem to be bothering him, as he was locked in what appeared to be a classic pitcher's duel, Beckett versus Jered Weaver, through six innings.
The seventh would prove his undoing, of course. It began with a near-impossible feat: walking Vladimir Guerrero. Not only was this done on five pitches, the notoriously free-swinger didn't swing.