Friday, May 11, 2012

Beckett Turns Fenway Into a Driving Range

Fenway Park became a driving range last night. The Indians teed off on Beckett. It was really a subpar performance. The next time Beckett's resting some sore muscles, he should go down to Connecticut and play some slots. Because last night he recorded 7 outs, allowed 7 hits, and gave up 7 runs.

He was booed very loudly once Valentine took him out. It was the one part of the game I enjoyed.

I was hoping he'd feel the need to take the mound and shut everyone up. I was hoping he'd be throwing fire. I was extremely disappointed. The golf thing aside, he's been inconsistent this season. As he's been his entire career. This is the second time he's failed to go 5 innings. He's also had 4 Quality Starts, 2 of which were good, 2 were really good. You just don't know which Josh Beckett will show up.

In his postgame press conference, Beckett resembled and sounded like a child. Fervently shaking his head and repeating "no" when asked about the golfing thing and whether it affected him. And even if he's right and the golf incident wasn't a physical problem or wasn't a distraction, just how childish he looks and sounds annoys me. I'd rather see him get pissed and counter-attack.

He's a toddler. A spoiled baby.

One bright spot in all this is that the Sox bullpen hasn't been half bad lately. Maybe it's all the extra practice they've been getting. Then again, Aceves is supposed to be the best healthy reliever on the team, and he allowed another run last night.

Beckett's golfing buddy Buchholz takes the mound tonight. He faces Ubaldo Jimenez, who's coming off a brilliant 7 inning, 2 hit, 0 run outing against Texas. This could be loss #20. The Sox lost their 20th game on May 11 last year too.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo

Adios, Atlanta

The Celtics weren't blatantly more talented than the Hawks. This wasn't a case of a clearly superior team outclassing an inferior opponent. This was about being clutch, about putting yourself in position to make big plays and then executing. The Celtics were clutch in this series. The Hawks weren't. Just look at the last minute of Game 6 as Exhibit A.

The Celtics needed a big game out of Kevin Garnett and they got one. 28 points, 14 rebounds, he was a monster. And he made the shot that gave the Celtics the lead with 30 seconds left. Pierce, Rondo, and Garnett have each taken turns carrying this team. They take the pressure off each other, and they step up when the others need them.

The last time Rondo didn't have 10+ assists was March 9th. He only had 8 last night. But like I said, when one of the stars is off, the others step up. It's like having a car with three engines.

Bradley, Bass, and the bench didn't provide much offense, but the defense was able to hold Atlanta at bay. That's KG again. The Celtics missed their three-pointers, but they got to the line (and made their free throws). They didn't put the Hawks on the line. That was a big difference maker.

Because the NBA doesn't re-seed after each round, the Celtics face the 76ers in the Conference Semifinals. That means the Celtics have home-court advantage (3-0 against Atlanta at home, 24-9 at home in the regular season). It's a silly system, but I'll take it this year. That series starts tomorrow in Boston.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo