Whatever clubhouse problems Josh Beckett may or may not be a part of, the simple on the field facts are that he has undeniably and unequivocally sucked this season. Yesterday afternoon he gave the Sox 5 innings, 8 hits, 8 earned runs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, 3 homeruns. And that ERA of his is once again flirting with 5.00 (4.97 to be exact).
Among starting pitchers that have enough innings to qualify, he is 86th in ERA. Only 12 starters have worse ERAs.
How long does this guy continue to get the ball? How long until he has a roster spot? How many pitchers out there can give the Sox what Beckett gives them, only for less money, and with less drama?
This loss typifies the Sox season. One part of the team did very well (the offense), but their efforts were sabotaged by other parts of the team (Beckett and the bullpen).
Adrian Gonzalez hit 3 doubles, each time knocking in a run. Cody Ross hit a homerun and knocked in 2. Will Middlebrooks hit a 3 run homer. 9 runs should be enough to win.
But Beckett dug a huge hole for his teammates. And when they were finally clawing their way out of that hole, the bullpen dug it deeper. Clayton Mortensen didn't do his job. Then Alfredo Aceves allowed a sacrifice fly that gave the Rangers the lead. He nearly allowed a 2 run homer after that.
Aceves wasn't meant to be the closer on this team. But they let a pretty good one go. Then they signed one who has a history of injuries. And he got injured.
There are good pieces on this team. And there are bad ones. The bad pieces counter the good pieces and the result is a .500 team. It's like running a faucet on full hot and full cold. The result is a tepid stream of mediumness.
It's only August, but looking forward to the 2012-13 off-season I'd prefer that the Red Sox focus on removing the bad pieces that infest this team, as opposed to adding more good pieces. This team is sick. The top priority should be to get rid of the viruses, the bacteria, and all that ails this team. Then the good pieces can be healthy and thrive.
The Sox are in Cleveland for 4 games. The Indians aren't a good team, and the Sox need wins. This is an opportunity for them to win. Although we've seen them fail to take advantage of such opportunities.
Felix Doubront faces 8-11 Ubaldo Jimenez, who had a good June, but has struggled the rest of the 2012 season.