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.
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 MassLive.com .
“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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