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Beckett battered again as Red Sox stumble

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  August 20, 2010 12:06 AM

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My newspaper duties took me over to the Angels clubhouse tonight. So I'm not going to be much help with what the Red Sox were saying or thinking.

But I can tell you this much: Josh Beckett has allowed 19 runs on 28 hits (five of them home runs) in his last 16 innings. That's a 10.69 ERA over three starts.

He says he feels fine physically, as does Terry Francona. So that means he's just not pitching well whatsoever, which is worse.

Beckett had a good fastball for five innings. The Angels were 2 for 17 with a walk the first two times through the order. The third time through they were 5 for 9 and scored four runs. That's what led to the 7-2 loss.

"Beckett was really coming out with that fastball; he was explosive today," Torii Hunter said. "The second and third time around, we kind of calmed down a little bit and tried to get pitches in the zone and be ready for the fastball. We were able to jump on it."

Not a good sign, obviously. Beckett has been around too long to let such things happen.

The Sox are 6.5 games out in the division. At the moment, the Rays are down in Oakand, so maybe the night won't be a total loss.

But if Beckett doesn't figure it out soon, following the scores will become a waste of time. With their patchwork lineup and leaky bullpen, the only way the Sox can get contend is with excellent starting pitching. Beckett, as he often says, needs to be part of the solution and right now he's a problem.

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Thanks to everybody for reading today. Really enjoyed the great comments earlier today on the Adrian Beltre topic.

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