On last night’s YES broadcast, much was made by Michael Kay in the 6th inning about how Josh Beckett seemed “disinterested” after the Gardner walk. That he was hitting batters intentionally to force Tito Francona’s hand and get him out of a game that he no longer wanted to compete in. This sentiment was echoed by many fans around the message boards and blogosphere. Folks, be careful about trying to read Josh Beckett’s mind. The claim that he intentionally was throwing at batters last night will never be proven one way or the other, without an admission from Josh himself. Were he to do that, a suspension from Bed Selig would swiftly follow. If Kay had done his homework, he would know that Beckett has been struggling all year. He’s 1-1 with a 7.46 ERA and has given up 52 Hits in just 41 IP and his BB/9 are the highest they’ve been since his miserable 06 campaign. Boston papers are speculating about the pitcher’s ‘ sudden demise’ from last night, but that strikes me as premature. 2-pitch power pitchers like him (and AJ Burnett) are prone to the big inning and always have been.
To be sure, Josh was on his game early. He struck out 5 of the first 6 batters he faced and looked invincible. When Beckett is hitting his spots the Yanks will do little against him, he has that kind of stuff. But when good hitters like the Yanks are failing to even make contact, it can often signal some wildness which they will adjust to as the game progresses. After a strikeout, batters will typically ask the Home plate umpire if it was a ball or strike, and will re-watch the AB if they have a video terminal handy. If they see a pitcher is getting them out on balls out of the zone, they will lay off that pitch in that count the next time around. The Yanks made some nice in-game adjustments last night. When Swisher hit the 3-Run HR, he was clearly sitting on the curve after being badly fooled on it earlier in that same AB. If you noticed the curve Beckett threw was hung and right over the middle of the plate. That’s not where he wanted it, and was preceded by a Teixeira walk.
When watching a game, look at the Catcher’s mitt. If Varitek wasn’t moving his glove and all of a sudden Cano gets plunked, you’d have a case that it was intentional. But Josh was missing his spots often last night, and was flat-out all over the place in the 6th. He gave up 3 BBs and 9 Hits in just 5.1 IP. It appeared in the 6th that in the middle of an inning where Beckett was struggling with his control to begin with, where he already hit Cano and had a passed ball that I thought crossed up Varitek, then the Gardner intentional walk made him lose what little rhythm he had. After that AB, his shaky control was gone. Ball 4 to Cervelli was nowhere hear the plate. Jeter always crowds the plate, so I don’t even count him getting a HBP. Derek wants to shoot the ball the opposite way, so the book on him is to crowd him inside. Both hit batsman forced in Runs, so nobody can argue that Beckett plunked guys with a base open. The fact that he had the bases loaded at the time should tell you something about his ability to locate up to that point.
When you miss by 6 inches on a pitch that’s low and away, it’s a wild pitch. When you miss by 6 inches on a fastball that’s supposed to be a high and inside strike, you’re called a headhunter and fans and announcers start reading intent and body language (which they weren’t doing previously). Beckett’s demeanor on the mound is that of a cocky Texas fireballer. When he’s on, it’s characterized as the body language of a stud pitcher who’s cool under pressure. When he’s not, he’s a headhunter who doesn’t care if he hits a batter. It’s the same guy, the difference is his control. Beckett simply lost his already spotty control in the 6th, and that’s it. He had a bad inning. Everything else is unprovable mind reading and speculation.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Christina on Game Thread: Angels versus Yankees, Saturday July 14th
- walkfit platinum reviews on The TYA staff on the Yankees’ television and radio broadcast teams
- essentialtexting.com on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
- www25.tok2.com on Sabermetrics Doesn’t Have A Monopoly on Not-Stupid: Mike Trout is the AL MVP
- グッチ 財布 on Sunday Links-Joba’s Timetable, Comparing eras, Pineda
- raspberry ketone diet 1200 on Sabermetrics Doesn’t Have A Monopoly on Not-Stupid: Mike Trout is the AL MVP
- Free riot codes on Off-Topic
- Fran on The Great Subway Race
- sleeping bag hand Orientation on What about Austin Romine?
- camping stove heat diffuser on What about Austin Romine?
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees