Thursday, May 28

That's The Ace I Know

Josh Beckett is doing something that Lester and Dice-K seemingly can't this season, pitch at a level he is capable of, which is an Ace.

The term ace is probably used too loosely in the game today, as true aces are tough to find. Josh Beckett has the competitive fire, physical makeup, and work ethic to put him in that unique category, and of late, he is certainly pitching like one.

JB allowed one run on three hits and struck out eight in seven innings today in a 3-1 win against the Twins. The W gave Boston a split in the series with the Twins and allows us Red Sox fans to breath a temporary sigh of relief.

I purposely took a late lunch for today's game, running to a local restaurant to catch an inning or two of the game. From what I saw (and subsequently saw again on NESN's replay tonight), Beckett looked like he did in 07'. He was painting the corners and challenging hitters all day. You couldn't help but feel he was in complete control of the game, and if the Red Sox were to lose, it certainly wouldn't be his fault.

While he has a ways to go before getting to ace-like numbers for the year, his recent totals indicate he could be on his way. For the month of May, JB has a 2-0 record in 4 starts (remember that he should be 3-0 if it wasn't for Pap against the Mets), with a 2.67 ERA, while holding opponents to a .240 batting average. His average start this month is close to 7 innings, more than an entire inning better than his April average.

So in a night where all the highlights will surround a young umpire who got ejection happy and Tek's two "go f yourself" taters (that phrase applying to all those in the media who continue throw him under the bus, ITM included), we should remember the most important takeaway. Josh Beckett appears to be back, and thank god, because this staff is in dire need of a stopper/leader under the age of 42.

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