With all that’s going on with the Patriots and Celtics, the Red Sox winning the World Series is almost at the backs of our minds. But they lead from wire to wire, spending more days in first place than any other Red Sox team in history, winning the AL East for the first time in 12 years, and becoming the first two-time World Champs in the 21st century.
Here are the nominees for Red Sox Player of the Year:
Jonathan Papelbon - Closer
Hideki Okajima - Reliever
Mike Lowell - Third Base
Dustin Pedroia - Second Base
Kevin Youkilis - First Base
Josh Beckett - Starting Pitcher
And the winner is…
After what we saw in the post-season, is there any doubt that Beckett was the best pitcher in baseball In ‘07? But Beckett’s playoff performance may have overshadowed what was a truly amazing regular season. Beckett went 20-7 with a 3.27 ERA. After allowing 36 homeruns last year, he yielded a mere 17 in 2007. After walking 74 batters in 2006, Beckett only issued 40 free passes this season. He only hit 5 batters, as opposed to 10 in ‘06. He only threw 3 wild pitches, as opposed to 11.
Then there was what Beckett did in the post-season. He started 4 games, winning them all. He threw 30 innings (7.5 per start), allowing 4 earned runs (1.20 ERA), 2 walks, 19 hits (0.677 WHIP), and striking out 35 batters (10.5 per 9 IP). To do that in the playoffs, against the best teams in baseball, is absurd.
Combining his regular season and post-season numbers, here’s what Beckett gave us:
34 starts, 230.2 IP, 24 wins, 7 losses, 3 no decisions, 2 complete games, 1 shutout, 208 hits, 42 walks, 80 runs, 77 earned runs, 229 strikeouts, 3.00 ERA, 1.083 WHIP, 8.9 K/9IP, 6.78 IP per start, and a 5.45:1 K/BB ratio.