Boston Red Sox: Josh Beckett looks to turn fortunes around in Cleveland

While the weather forecast for Progressive Field in Cleveland calls for low-40s and a stiff breeze tomorrow, Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett is hoping that he can ignite a spark. Not only for himself, but for his team as well.

Photo credit Keith Allison via Creative Commons license

With the team coming off an opening weekend during which they were not only swept, but outscored 26-11, there is no better time for Beckett to make his season debut and assert himself as the Beckett of old: dominating and fearsome.

Beckett’s balky back last season led to the worst season of his career, with a 6-6 record and 5.78 ERA. When spring training got underway, Beckett’s results weren’t all that impressive, leading to a 6.64 ERA. However during his last start at Houston last week, Beckett went five strong innings, allowing just one hit, striking out three and at one point retiring 11 batters in a row.

That is the Josh Beckett that the Red Sox will be counting on tomorrow, and for the 2011 season.

“I think pride matters to him a lot. His pride took a beating last year,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona told Ron Chimelis of .

“I think he feels he’s got a lot to prove. He’s still a big leader on our staff.”

Considering the pasting that John Lester, John Lackey and Clay Buchholz took over the weekend, getting a lift from Josh Beckett could be just the medicine that the doctor ordered.

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