BOSTON - APRIL 04: Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the second inning against the New York Yankees on Opening Night at Fenway Park on April 4, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
It's hard to call Josh Beckett's most recent outing against the Yankees a success. Four earned runs in six innings, two Ichiro Suzukis, a 4-1 loss...It's forgettable at best. Just ask Josh Beckett, who remarked on what he felt was improved stuff producing the "same [expletive] results."
It's the sort of stuff we expect out of Josh Beckett these days, but not Jon Lester. At least not anymore. Lester, after all, seems to have finally come around, finding his rhythm on the mound after months of frustration. Lester's struggles peaked, in fact, right before this positive streak. He looked as bad as Beckett did in his two previous outings. Beckett gave up 14 runs in 10 innings, Lester 17 in 8.
Unlike Beckett, however, Lester finally had a game which let him leave the mound and head to the dugout with a smile, regaining some confidence, and ultimately getting back on track. It came on July 28, when he allowed four earned runs including two homers over the course of six innings against the New York Yankees.
Now, Lester's night was not quite as bad as Beckett's. Where Lester struck out six and walked two, Beckett walked three in his outing. Beckett also surrendered seven hits where Lester had allowed four. Still, the results were the same, and the homers perhaps even more baffling than Beckett's--Lester's came against Chris Stewart and Jayson Nix.
This is not to say that Josh Beckett is about to take off looking like 2007 and 2011 Beckett all over again, but it's a funny sort of coincidence. And it might also make us reconsider some of the criticisms we levy against members of this team. It's one of this year's most repeated attacks against Beckett that he simply doesn't care anymore. But where Jon Lester exited his outing smiling in the dugout, feeling good about his six innings with four earned runs, Josh Beckett was typically upset and angry. There are plenty of reasons for fans to hate Josh Beckett, but a lack of caring is probably not the most reasonable. And, who knows, maybe like Lester, he'll be able to take this outing and make something of it.
You may now proceed to hate on Beckett and demand his immediate departure in the comments.