Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Beckett Wins Game, Pass The Beer And Chicken

Just want to give a big shoutout to Josh Beckett, winner of this first game in over a year last night. From the LAT:

From the numbness he felt in the fingers to the career-threatening operation that followed, Josh Beckett has made the events of last year seem as if they were something of the distant past.

The former All-Star has emerged from extreme uncertainty to not only pitch, but pitch well.

But as far as Beckett has come, he isn't ready to celebrate his return.

"I think reflection's for the end of the season," Beckett said. "I'll take this as a steppingstone and just keep pushing forward."

Beckett, uncommonly humble, praised A.J. Ellis for his first win in 14 starts:

Beckett, who turns 34 on Thursday, has transitioned from thrower to pitcher, in part because A.J. Ellis made him do it.

"The best thing that happened to me was A.J. going on the disabled list," said Beckett, who explained that Ellis took some of his down time to prove a theory that Beckett would be a better pitcher if he used his curveball more.

"He brought me a sheet of paper showing me that both right-handers and left-handers had trouble hitting my curveball," he said. "Basically, he was telling me it was time to make a change.

"So, instead of throttling up a fastball, I can throttle back with a curve. I've always had a good curveball, but never a good feel for it, never for strike one. But I threw it tonight [eight times on first pitch]. Guys don't hit it, maybe because it's dying anyway, nobody throws it, and hitters don't see them often. And A.J. said a 70-mph curve makes that 90-93-mph fastball look faster."

Beckett stepped up the curveball deployment after his first start. Since then, he's allowed two runs or fewer in five of six starts. But in those games, the Dodgers scored a total of 14 runs.

"Honestly, I'm just glad we got Beckett some runs today," said Matt Kemp, who had two hits and an RBI. "He's been pitching his butt off, and we haven't really done anything to get him some run support. It's good to see everybody contributing tonight."

Hooray, Josh!