It was only his first outing, but Josh Beckett didn’t do anything in his first MLB 2013 start to prove to the Los Angeles Dodgers that he is back to All-Star form. A disappointing beginning has put the Dodgers in a position to wonder if he can be the pitcher he once was. This adds to the speculation that maybe the Boston Red Sox were right in sending him as far away as they could.
Beckett did say he felt he pitched better than his final two spring starts. “Overall, I felt I was getting on top of the ball better today than the last couple of spring starts.” How could it have been any worse? In his last two spring appearances, he gave up 14 runs and four home runs in eight innings.
With the “blockbuster” trade last year, Beckett left his shady past with the Red Sox. His combined win loss record of 7-14 in 2012 hasn’t been beneficial for the dodgers so far. But his hefty price tag of $15.75 million a year doesn’t seem to justify a shaky start. If Beckett is going to reinvent his reputation and career in LA, then he needs his best stuff in game one.
Don Mattingly, in his usual calm somewhat protective way, believes in Beckett. “Ever since we’ve seen Josh over here, he has been throwing the ball good. Last year he pretty much kept us in every game that he pitched, and he could have had a lot better record better luck if we had put some runs on the board for him.”
He has to say that, and true-blue fans want to believe Mattingly is right about Beckett. It’s always good to see a comeback player rise to the top again. But game one was an average pitcher allowing three earned runs with six hits in six innings.
Let’s hope Beckett finds his good stuff soon.