Watching him is different than watching everybody else right now. ... [W]e're at the tail end of the season. He's 200-some innings into it, and he's throwing his fastball better command-wise, better velocity, throwing his curveball, better command-wise and velocity-wise, and a better changeup than he has all year long, and that's some incredible stuff to watch.Beckett threw 33 pitches (31 fastballs) his first time through the Colorado lineup. He allowed two doubles and one run and struck out five. The second time through, 24 of his 30 pitches were fastballs, as he mixed in his curve a little bit. Facing Yorvit Torrealba in the fourth, he threw two fastballs for called strikes, then buckled Torrealba's knees with a outside curve for ball one before going back to the curve for strike three looking. The third time through the order, Beckett threw 30 pitches (23 fastballs), allowing three hits.
Among pitchers with 50+ postseason innings, Beckett's strikeout-to-walk ratio (82:14) is third only to Lefty Grove (36:6) and Deacon Phillippe (24:4).
Nick Cafardo, Globe, on Beckett:
In 10 postseason games, including nine starts, Beckett, 27, is 7-2 with a 1.75 ERA. He has 82 strikeouts and 14 walks in 72.2 innings. He's struck out 35 in 30 innings this postseason, with only a pair of walks. He's already pitched a World Series-clinching game in 2003. He's already been a World Series MVP. Barring an injury or a complete Red Sox collapse, the tough Texan could become one of the best postseason pitchers of all time.Why would Beckett's teammates' possible poor performance in the future reflect badly on his past pitching performances? That makes no sense.
Jeff Francis had poor location with all of his pitches and the difference in speeds between his fastball (86-ish) and his changeup (80) was not nearly enough to fool the Red Sox hitters. Five of the first seven batters in the first inning got hits as Boston touched Francis for 10 hits, three walks and six runs in four innings (103 pitches).
With two outs in the fourth inning, David Ortiz's single started a stretch in which 14 of 17 Red Sox batters reached base. Nine of them scored. In the first five innings, Boston put 24 men on base.
Of the starters, only Jacoby Ellsbury did not have a hit (though he walked and scored and had an RBI), only Julio Lugo failed to score a run (but he had three hits, a walk and an RBI) and only Mike Lowell didn't have an RBI (but he doubled, walked twice and scored once). ... Various records were set or tied.
The Red Sox have drawn seven bases-loaded walks in this post-season.