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A better Beckett?

Posted by Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff  July 13, 2006 07:40 PM

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There has been some fretting over Josh Beckett's uneven first-half performance. He racked up an 11-4 record, but did so while posting a 4.75 ERA. Beckett, who makes his first start of the second half tomorrow opposite A's lefty Barry Zito, has also surrendered a major league high 26 home runs -- 10 more than his previous career high for homers allowed in an entire season.

It can be argued that if not for the 6.2 runs per game the Sox have given him during his starts that his record would be a more accurate reflection of his ERA. Francona wasn't buying that theory before today's game.

"If he goes out there enough we're going to be just fine," said Francona. "His ERA is a little elevated because he's had a few starts where he really got knocked around. In the end that doesn't really matter. He's a big strong kid that we feel comfortable with when he pitches. He's won a lot of games and I think that will continue."

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