Sunday, March 09, 2014

"Ever Tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try Again. Fail Again."

Samuel Beckett's words befit his namesake's outing yesterday, as Josh Beckett got shellacked in his second spring training outing:

Right-hander Josh Beckett, who looked so sharp in his first spring game in coming back from having a rib removed, looked like he was almost under-handing the ball to hitters Saturday night in the Dodgers' 8-5 split-squad loss to the Mariners at Camelback Ranch.

Beckett lasted three innings, giving up three monster home runs and was just generally hit all over the field. He surrendered five runs on six hits and a walk, and did not strike out a batter. Even most of his outs were hit hard.

In his first outing, he did not allow a run, giving up one hit and striking out three in two innings.

These comebacks are not always of the smooth variety. Beckett at least reported nothing was wrong physically afterward, but clearly there is plenty of work to be done before the Dodgers can put him in the rotation.

His current competition for the fifth spot in the rotation is Paul Maholm, who pitched well earlier in the day in the Dodgers’ first game.

Beckett had surgery last summer to remove a rib that was causing pressure on a nerve and creating numbness in his pitching hand. It’s a fairly rare procedure and there is not a lot of history of pitchers coming back from it.

Regardless, he hasn’t pitched in nine months, so it’s not always going to go as smoothly as in his first outing. Although Saturday’s results may have felt a tad too far on the other side of the scale.

Beckett told reporters in Phoenix that, unlike in his first outing when he was working largely on his changeup, this time the plan was to work on his fastball.

“I didn’t know that those guys were in my and Fed’s (catcher Tim Federowicz) meeting before the game,” Beckett said. “They figured it out pretty quick.”

Beckett clearly needs to build arm strength.

Either that, or we're going to have to build up some stomach lining strength.

So that makes our starting five is Kershaw, Grumpy, Ryu, Haren, and...Maholm? Look, I'd like better, but it's not like Josh Beckett has seen anything close to his 20-7 2007 season back with the Red Sox. In 15 games with the Dodgers, Beckett has two wins (2-8 record, with a 4.07 ERA and a 91 ERA+). I'm not hopeful.

Photo swiped from here