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Beckett is still very good.

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I'm like everyone else. I've felt from time-to-time this season that Josh Beckett just hasn't been what he was last year.  Were we spoiled last season? Has he actually been worse? Have his record and +4.00 ERA (before yesterday) made us over-critical of his performance?

Well, after reading this article on Fangraphs, I have to conclude that we have been. His K/BB is actually up from a year ago, at 5.24, which is pretty much entirely due to a higher K-rate. His WHIP is 1.13, as opposed to 1.14 last season. In short, while we've been debating whether Jon Lester, or Daisuke has been our best pitcher this season, Beckett has continued to be our ace for all intents and purposes. Of course, this is probably easier for people to think about now given that he's improved his ERA to 3.87 and his record to 7-4. 

The only thing that's really changed, as pointed out by Eric Seidman at Fangraphs, is Beckett's HR rate. He's getting less GBs than last season, and some of those extra line drives and flyballs have become HRs. It's probably not a large point of concern. I think he'll settle somewhere in-between his current 1.15 HR/9 and last season's 0.76 HR/9. If that happens, then as surprising as it may be, Beckett might still get some Cy attention at the end of the season.

With apologies to Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and even Tim Wakefield and Justin Masterson, Beckett still wears the big pants in the rotation. I think we're probably all more comfortable that way.