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Red Sox fumble away Beckett’s brilliance

Posted by Bill Koch on April 17, 2010

Josh Beckett

Josh Beckett fell victim Friday night to yet another uninspiring performance by your 2010 Boston Red Sox.

All Beckett did was fire seven brilliant innings, strike out eight and allow just four hits against the pesky Tampa Bay Rays. He received a no decision to show for it because his allegedly improved defense kicked the ball around behind him and his neglected offense couldn’t do a thing at Fenway Park.

Boston continues to scuffle at the start of the season, and there’s plenty of blame to go around. None of it belongs anywhere near Beckett’s locker – he had his best stuff of the season and is probably shattering mirrors with his fists after his teammates deserted him.

The trouble started with two outs and nobody on in the third inning when Marco Scutaro performed his best Roger Dorn impression on Carl Crawford’s harmless three-hopper to short, pulling off a full-fledged ole for his third error in just 10 games and allowing Crawford to reach base. Crawford stole second and came in to score when Adrian Beltre, another run prevention superstar, kicked Ben Zobrist’s grounder into short center field to give Tampa a 1-0 lead. Jeremy Hermida added to the anti-Tom Emanski highlight reel when he misjudged a flyball in the fifth and managed to turn it into a double, a misplay that should have given the Red Sox their second straight game with three errors. Improved defense? Perhaps, if Boston’s team last year played beer league softball.

Foolishness struck Boston again in the sixth inning when Kevin Youkilis was gunned down at the plate with nobody out in a 1-1 game. Third base coach Tim Bogar must have been in shock – about the fact that he was going to have some company or that David Ortiz managed to get the ball out of the infield, take your pick – and decided to reenact the good old days of Wave-‘em-in Wendell Kim. Youkilis was out by a mile and Boston ended up stranding Ortiz at second base, the bottom of its lineup acting just like the black hole that it is this season.

Ah yes, the lineup. This one falls squarely in the lap of This Manager. Was Friday really the best time to give Victor Martinez the night off? Jacoby Ellsbury (ribs) and Mike Cameron (kidney stones) were already unavailable. We all know by now that Jason Varitek is going to catch Beckett every outing – it’s the worst kept secret in Pink Hat Nation – and a pair of miracles happened when Ortiz doubled and Varitek cracked his third homer of the season. What about the rest of the order? JD Drew and his sub-.150 average slotted into the No. 2 hole, Dustin Pedroia dropped to third and Ortiz continued to underwhelm as the designated hitter. There was no chance that this group, which also included Bill Hall and the ongoing vigil leading up to his first Red Sox hit, was going to be able to give Beckett much more support than Tim Wakefield received in an 8-0 loss to Minnesota on Thursday.

The net result of all of this? Boston is 4-6 and might not have hit rock bottom just yet. Theo Epstein could be on the verge of making some roster moves, something that Red Sox fans should be afraid of after this past offseason. We’re all seeing now how that turned out.


One Response to “Red Sox fumble away Beckett’s brilliance”

  1. […] the eighth, doing the same thing that he did in earlier defeats against the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays. Those losses have added up to put the Red Sox even further behind the Rays and Yankees in what is […]

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