About 5 days ago, Josh Beckett was the laughing stock of baseball. He was under on trial by controversy creators for the ghastly crime of golfing on an off day. His next start was terrible, as he gave up 7 runs against the Indians and being pulled after just 56 pitches and less than 3 innings (no doubt while the velocity sucking beer was still cold and the pitching mechanics destroying chicken still warm). Dave Cameron thought that a combination of adult beverages and senior citizen leisure activities was not at the root of Beckett’s Ian Snell impression:
“Last year, Josh Beckett’s fastball averaged 93.0 MPH, and he topped out at 94-95 with regularity. This year, Beckett’s fastball is averaging just 91.5 MPH, and the fastest pitch he threw last night was 92.9 MPH”
“Maybe the story should be that Josh Beckett just isn’t healthy enough to perform up to his usual standards. I know, I know, that’s not nearly as fun as assassinating someone’s character, but it’s the conclusion that best lines up with the evidence.”
Dave Cameron could never get a job in Boston sports talk radio (they might let him intern if he is real nice).
In related news, Josh Beckett threw 7 scoreless innings with 9 strikeouts and 2 walks against the Mariners on Tuesday. The Mariners managed just 6 baserunners in 7 innings off the pitcher that reportedly killed everyone’s puppy. So Beckett’s velocity was back correct? No:
Start against Cleveland:
Start against Seattle:
As you can see, this was basically the same Josh Beckett that pitched terribly against the Indians. His release point was a bit more consistent, but his pitch locations were really similar excluding a few balls that went way up in Cleveland (this screams release point):
So a Mariner fan/writer/organization member is left with two choices: The Mariners can make even bad pitchers look good, or the Mariners really need to stop eating so much chicken and playing so much golf.