Josh Beckett: Home Runs, Endurance and The Stretch

It hasn’t exactly been a great return to the Red Sox rotation for Josh Beckett. With a 6.82 ERA in August and a fresh four-year/$68 million dollar contract extension on his shoulders, Beckett has been a major source of frustration for Sox fans.

Yesterday, Beckett had a “better” outing, going 6.1 innings while allowing three runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and only one walk. However, one of his big issues, the home run ball, was present once again. Beckett ran out of gas after his first six innings. Having thrown in the 93-95 MPH range early on, his fastball had tailed off to the 91-93 MPH range by the seventh. That’s when trouble struck. Russell Branyan took a poorly located 93 MPH heater over the right field wall for a solo shot. Then, after a Jose Lopez single, Casey Kotchman took a hanging changeup over the right field wall for a two-run shot.

Beckett has not gone a single game this month without allowing at least one home run and of the eight home runs he has allowed only one has come before the fourth inning. Which brings us to issue number two…

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