ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Red Sox are working out in Tropicana Field, a tired, sleep-deprived, and, most of all, happy team. “Our big thing is Happy Flight,” Game 6 starter Josh Beckett said. “The only way we were going to be able to make that flight last night was for it to be a happy one.”
Beckett was, for him, effusive in his press conference, but the most telling moment may have come during this short, somewhat terse exchange with a reporter.
Reporter: “Because of the oblique, have you had to adjust the way you approach pitching at all or make any changes to do anything differently?”
Beckett hesitated for a moment. “No,” he said.
“Same guy, same approach?”
That answer seemed right out the I-said-I’m-fine-so-write-that playbook. You know how much Beckett has struggled in his first two postseason starts, particularly his last one here, after his first one in the ALDS was pushed back due to an oblique injury.
The Red Sox remained steadfast today that they want Beckett on the mound, despite that 4 2/3-inning, eight-run disaster six days ago.
“I think we’re all excited about Josh pitching,” Terry Francona said. “You know, I know he’s been banged up at various junctures this year for different things … He’s not going to forget how to compete. So even if he’s going out there with maybe close to what he – maybe it’s not 96 [miles per hour], maybe it’s 92, 93. But he’s still Beckett, and that doesn’t mean he can’t win. That doesn’t mean he can’t dominate.”
For more news and notes, follow the “full entry” link below.
- One of the contrived, media-driven themes of the day was pressure – which team feels more, the one (still) on the brink of elimination or the one that let a World Series ticket slip from its fingers and blow away in the wind?
“Obviously, it’s on us,” Dustin Pedroia said. “We lose, we go home. They lose, they play another game. So it’s on us.”
David Ortiz agreed with Pedroia. Jonathan Papelbon declined to answer the pressure question – “You got to ask the prognosticators that,” he said. “I don’t know. That’s not my job.”
Papelbon also maintained his stance that there was “never a doubt” last night, despite the fact that winning a game in that manner had not been accomplished since Herbert Hoover was in office. (It’s like that old saying goes – every time the global economy crumbles, a baseball team comes back from seven runs down to win a playoff game.) But even Papelbon seemed awed by the Red Sox’ rally.
“After last night,” Papelbon said. “you’ve seen it all.”
- Two minor league pieces of news. First, the Red Sox received righthanded pitcher Dewon Day, 28, from the Chicago White Sox on a waiver claim. Day will join the Red Sox’ 40-man roster, and the odd man out is Chris Smith, who was designated for assignment. Day spent the season with Triple A Charlotte as a reliever and Double A Birmingham as a starter. He’s had two cups of coffee with the White Sox.
In the Arizona Fall League, Clay Buchholz threw five scoreless innings Thursday, allowing one hit and one walk as Scottsdale (his team) beat Surprise. Buchholz has now thrown eight innings in the AFL, allowing zero runs, one hit, and striking out seven.
- Mark Kotsay drilled a ball to center field, over the fence toward the actual tank of cownose rays, during batting practice a few minutes ago. “Dude, you killed a ray!” Ortiz shouted.