Josh Beckett really isn’t helping himself these days. After word surfaced that he had been playing golf last week the day after he was scratched from a start thanks to back pain, Beckett needed to turn in a masterful performance in his Thursday night start at Fenway Park. He didn’t do that.
Beckett was blasted by the Cleveland Indians, and manager Bobby Valentine pulled him after 2.1 innings with the Red Sox trailing 7-1. The 31-year-old righty allowed seven runs (all earned) on seven hits, while surrendering two home runs and walking two batters. It was the second time in six starts this season that Beckett has given up seven runs.
The Red Sox went on to lose 8-3.
Beckett was lustily booed by the home crowd as he exited the game and was even taunted before he threw the first pitch of the night. He has clearly lost the support of the fans. His poor outing led to Boston’s 11th loss in its last 12 home games.
Beckett is making $15.75 million this season and is due $31.5 million combined over the next two years. For that load of cash the Texas native is just 2-4 and ranks 51st in the American League in ERA (5.97). His 26-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranks 27th, while his WHIP of 1.38 ranks 37th.
The Red Sox are now 12-19 and things aren’t getting any better for the team. Beckett has been awful this season and while there is plenty of time for him to turn it around, the fact that he comes across as a selfish flake isn’t helping matters. After the golf outing story broke, had he come out and thrown seven shutout innings it could have won him a reprieve. He didn’t do that.
On top of everything else, Beckett doesn’t look like he’s in great shape, his velocity is down and he doesn’t seem engaged at all this season. He just doesn’t seem to care all that much.
He is rapidly wearing out his welcome in Boston, but I’m not sure anyone would be willing to take on the three years and $47.25 million he’s owed on his contract. If general manager Ben Cherington wanted to move Beckett he would probably have to agree to eat a large portion of that deal.