Josh Beckett was pounded for 6 runs on 10 hits over 5 tough innings in a 7-1 loss against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday in the rubber game of the series. Beckett, looking to improve upon his 9-0 record, was hit hard from the get-go.
Todd Helton started the scoring with an RBI single up the middle on a very good curveball from Beckett, but it was all downhill from there. Struggling Rockies 3rd baseman Garret Atkins came up with the bases loaded and no outs in the 3rd and saw a good 2-1 curveball that Beckett thought was a strike, but home plate umpire James Hoye thought otherwise. With a 3-1 count, Atkins was sitting dead-red on fastball, and promptly deposited the next pitch into the Green Monster, making it 5-0.
Matt Holliday continued his hot hitting, going 2 for 5 with a solo shot off of Beckett in the fourth. Beckett gave up more than 4 earned runs in a start for the first time this season and more disturbingly, gave up two home runs while striking out just one. This start was very reminiscent of a few of Beckett’s starts last year where it seemed hitters were able sit on fastballs and make good solid contact every time. Hopefully, it was just a tough game for Beckett, and nothing to be worried about.
The Red Sox offense continued in its futility, scoring just one run, on an RBI single by Mike Lowell in the 7th, scoring Manny Ramirez, and were outscored 20-5 by Colorado in the 3 game set. With its 4th lead-off batter in 5 games, J.D. Drew took the collar, going 0 for 5, and left 7 men on-base. There are three spots in the lineup right now that seem almost like automatic outs for the pitcher. Lugo, Crisp, and Drew are all hitting under .230, and to put those three batters in a row in a lineup is a sure way to kill any rally. Francona needs to find something that can get this lineup going maybe that means playing Wily Mo Pena full time in centerfield, moving Coco to right, and benching Drew, or some version of that, but this offense needs to get going.
With the San Francisco Giants coming to town and their lead on the Yankees shrinking from 14.5 games to just 7.5, the Red Sox need to play some quality baseball this weekend in order to get back on track.