Thursday, April 28, 2011

What is the Deal with this Guy?

Tonight's Stat:  The three hitters in the order after JD Drew tonight were hitting a combined .169 (32-189) so far this season. 

Now, I already had this post half-written before Wednesday's Josh Beckett meltdown.  But I'm trying to figure this out:  What is the source of this guy's inconsistency?  I didn't want to think it, but it might be a mental thing.  I will admit that there are some issues with his structural anatomy - you can probably attribute some of the Florida ineffectiveness, the end of 2008, and part of 2010 to that.

Even in those years, however, Beckett has been Jekyll and Hyde.  Sometimes he has that Blister Curveball going on, and in the same game he's giving up bombs.  Obviously you think about that Friday night in New York last year, when he was unhittable for three innings, then he started throwing at people and getting shelled.  Is Josh Beckett's inconsistency a result of bad focus?

Could be.  The evidence:
-His best season was 2007, the year after he gave up 36 home runs and got absolutely killed by Boston fans such as myself.
-Years after getting contract extensions (2006, 2010), he was abysmal.
-He came to Boston as an injury prone guy who got a lot of blisters.  He shied away from the Blister Curveball that year.
-Similarly, small injuries can derail an entire season for this guy.  Instead of focusing and throwing the ball hard, he may have been throwing at 90-95%.  Hilarity does not ensue.
-His transcendent performances over the course of his career have been in the 2003 and 2007 playoffs, times where you can dial in.  Not to say he's an NBA player, but...
-Games like last night are somewhat common.  He gave up one home run, started jawing at the guy getting the hit, flipped out - and gave up another home run.  This guy can completely unravel on the mound, and this might be a mental thing, perhaps even more than a physical thing.

Felger was pissed at Beckett today after the home run, yell, home run sequence.  But the argument holds water.


Anonymous said...


First things first--I tried to post yesterday morning and the blog wouldn't let me. Don't know if it was my computer or the blog, but it was the first time that's ever happened.

Also, Beckett does seem to struggle with both focus and motivation. After contracts he's been terrible. And after the World Series win in 2007 he came back out of shape (the pictures of his gut hanging out were all over the place) and ended up winning almost half as many games as the year before.

The harsh reality with him is that he's exactly what many have said about him--he's Boston's AJ Burnett. He's a bit of an enigma and from season to season you don't know what to expect. In fact, you don't know what you're getting from start to start and in some cases, inning to inning. As Sox fans you just have to hang on and hope for the best.

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...

It's the blog. It was acting screwy on mine too. Google's NESCAC and Stanford graduates wearing square-framed glasses were messing around with the code, I'd think.

I'm pissed off that I failed to mention the gut pictures, because I was going to. Lesson learned: Don't write blog posts when half asleep. The gut pictures are a perfect example of how he has a focus problem. He also fails to execute when he's scared about hurting himself, and that's why the blister-free 2006 season was so enfuriating. All he was throwing was straight fastballs. But he threw 200 innings!!!1

PF said...

i couldn't post yesterday for most of the day either.

even though i already said this yesterday when i finally could post, it's worth saying again for more people to see: happy birthday to our very own dv. all the best buddy.