Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett is going through a metamorphosis. He is making wise decisions about his pitching. His ability is unquestionable.
Combine that with wisdom, and he is fast becoming a talent on the level of Greg Maddux.
Smart pitching wins games. Smart pitchers know how to put themselves in the best situations to get the batter out. Good pitchers win for a few years — great pitchers can keep winning for decades.
Just look at Greg Maddux. From 1986-1992, Maddux had a win-loss record of 95-64 pitching for the Chicago Cubs. In 1992, he won 20 of those games. He then moved to the Atlanta Braves and pitched for eleven years. Maddux win-loss record was 194-77. He was a multi-year MLB all-star and gold glove winner. He kept pitching until he was 42, and won 14 games for the San Diego Padres when he was 41.
Maddux got smarter. Josh Beckett is too. Great pitchers understand the hitter’s prime real estate, so they pitch to location, location, location. Great pitchers are wise. They use control and finesse, and they trust the defense to make plays. These weapons are in the arsenal of smart pitchers. This is how they last and win for decades.
Beckett has the ability. He doesn’t have to over-power anyone. As a Boston Red Sox starter, he was criticized for his velocity and strikeouts. That’s because we are self-absorbed with a 90 mph fastball. We often don’t understand great pitchers.
Great pitchers win games by hitting their spots. They know you win and lose as a team. Maddux won games this way for 22 years. Josh Beckett can too.
True-Blue Dodger fans want to see wins. This is the year of World Series or bust. Josh Beckett is an integral part of this process. He could very well be a great pitcher in LA for another decade.