Before we get into the meat of this, Red Sox nation needs to remember one thing: spring training games do NOT count.
That is certainly good news in light of Friday night’s exhibition game with the Toronto Blue Jays. Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett, looking to make a strong comeback from last year’s horrific season, gave up seven runs on 11 hits during his six-inning stint, leading many to wonder if his performance is a harbinger of things to do. Not so, says both Beckett and manager Terry Francona.
“Results aside, I felt like I did some things that we’ve been working on,” Beckett told the Associated Press. “I felt like they were a little comfortable for the first time. I got to take some positives away from that. But obviously the results are what they are.”
Francona also liked a lot of what he saw, and knows that this is the time to work the kinks out.
“The two good things were he got real stretched out and he felt real good physically,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He made some mistakes. It seemed like the first hitter of almost every inning was on. So he was pitching out of the stretch.
“Saying that, once he got to that point I thought he made some good pitches. There were some pitches that still wandered back over the middle, got hit pretty good. But he feels real good physically. I think it’s one of those things where in March, you’re glad he feels good and the runs don’t count,” he said.
Beckett, coming off a 2010 season during which he posted a 6-6 record with a 5.78 ERA, will likely have one more tune-up before games are played for real, and for Sox fans, they hope that whatever Beckett has been working on this spring will reap results that will keep Red Sox nation from jumping off the nearest bridge.