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Monday, August 9, 2010

Damn it Beckett

Despite his past success in the playoffs in 2003 with the Marlins and 2007 with the Red Sox, Boston pitcher Josh Beckett has not been a big game performer for the last few seasons.

Facing one of the biggest games of the season last night at Yankee Stadium, Beckett couldn't get through the fifth inning as the Sox (63-49) lost 7-2 to New York (69-41) on a day when Tampa Bay lost its fifth straight game.

Beckett (3-2) went 4.2 innings, allowing seven earned runs on 11 hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

Scheduled starter A.J. Burnett was scratched before the game with back spasms but Dustin Moseley (2-1) stepped in and pitched very well: 6.1 innings, two earned runs, six hits, two walks and five strikeouts.

New York scored twice in the second inning on a throwing error by Bill Hall and an RBI single by Derek Jeter (2 hits, 3 RBIs).

Hall (3 hits) atoned for his usual fielding blunder with a solo homer in the fifth, cutting it to 2-1 Yankees.

The bottom of the fifth was when the wheels fell off for Beckett and the Red Sox. Mark Teixeira led off the inning with a solo bomb. Lance Berkman (3 hits, 2 runs) hit an RBI double, Kevin Cash made a throwing error which led to another run and Jeter sent Beckett to the clubhouse with a two-run double.

Boston got one more run, on an infield hit by pinch hitter Mike Lowell in the seventh. A ball that looked like a double play ball by Alex Rodriguez that he couldn't corral.

Needless to say, today is the biggest game of the season for Boston. They have Jon Lester on the mound, he's lost four straight starts and he needs to get right. Also, they can't lose more ground to New York and I'm sure the Rays will turn around soon despite all their injuries.

Phil Hughes takes the ball for the Yankees in the afternoon matinee.

The Sox are seven games behind the Yankees in the AL East and 4.5 behind Tampa Bay. This is the start of a ten-game road trip and it figures to remain very difficult with three in Toronto (who is playing great) and in Texas (who are legit and Arlington is always a tough place to play in the summer heat).

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