BOSTON, MA - JULY 20: Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox looks at the baseball after giving up two runs in the second inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the game on July 20, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
For the second straight night, the Red Sox found themselves completely stifled for the first eight innings by a young lefty starter (and an old lefty reliever).
To be fair to the Even-Year Beckett we are stuck with this year, this start isn't as bad as it looks. Four earned runs quickly becomes three when you consider that the first run he was tagged with was undeserved--the result of a bad call at home plate when Kelly Shoppach wasn't given credit for a pretty perfect block. He either deserves to have that run back, or the second that came from the runner who would have been out at first.
If you give him that, then six innings, three earned, 7:3 K:BB isn't so bad. The one real criticism is that he just couldn't get it together early, and holes that are dug immediately seem just that much more demoralizing. The Sox haven't been able to keep away from that for a while for whatever reason. It would be nice to see a clean first once in a while.
The bigger problem though is that for the second straight night the Sox came up against a young lefty and just couldn't get the job done. Seven innings against Aaron Laffey provided eight hits, but all of them singles and too spread out to do any damage. Taken in conjunction with Thursday night's game and the streaky nature of the team, it's enough to provide some fear of another bad run like the one they had out West. Which is not something they can afford in the least.