Josh Beckett did not have his best start of the season against the New York Mets yesterday, but he was more than good enough to earn the victory for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Beckett initially cruised, but was plagued by two home run balls that brought the Mets to within two runs of the lead. Beckett was visibly upset in the dugout, though his season has been excellent so far.
Over 46.2 innings, Beckett has pitched to a 2.89 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. Opponents are only hitting .219 against him, and he has struck out 46 while only walking 17. To say that Beckett has stepped up for the Dodgers would be an understatement, as he has been one of the most consistent starters over the first quarter of the season.
There were some questions over Beckett’s injury history and his ability to be effective at the onset of Spring Training, so much so that the Dodgers added Paul Maholm as insurance in case Beckett was not ready or was simply ineffective. The big righty has alleviated those concerns so far this season, and the Dodgers have been pleasantly surprised.
Beckett was solid over the last half of the season when he initially came over in the Boston trade, but he was largely forgotten after requiring thoracic outlet surgery a season ago. The Dodger rotation has not been the dominant group that many predicted that they would be, but they have had to deal with injuries to both Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu (and even Zack Greinke if the Australia trip is included). With Ryu back from the disabled list, the Dodgers again have their strongest rotation in place, and Josh Beckett is, somewhat surprisingly, a major component of the strength of the Dodger rotation.
Beckett, of course, needs to maintain his current level of production in order for the Dodgers to gain some ground on the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.
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