Beckett sounds like a leader

Beckett sounds like a leader
May 27, 2012, 4:40 am
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BOSTON -- Josh Beckett didn't get the win on Saturday night. He's still a .500 pitcher this season. At least, that's what his record shows.

But you won't hear any complaints out of him if the Red Sox can end the night like they did against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday, in dramatic, walk-off fashion.

"It's a better way to win anyway," said Beckett after Jarrod Saltalamacchia's walk-off home run. "I could get a no-decision the rest of my starts this year, it's not that big a deal, if we're winning them all like that."

Beckett was rock solid on Saturday. He allowed just two runs on four hits, and struck out five while walking none in seven innings. It was a downright battle between him and Tampa Bay starter David Price, who allowed one run in seven innings.

"The starting pitching was great," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine after the win. "A great pitcher's duel. David Price was outstanding, and Josh Beckett was equally good."

Valentine pointed out that Beckett's curveball that struck out Carlos Pena to open the game, got in the Rays' hitters heads.

"His ball was moving, in and out," said Valentine. "He had really good location. And a very good competitiveness. He was willing a lot of those outs. He looks great out on the mound right now."

And as good as he looked, you may not hear a lot about Beckett on this night. Mainly because there wasn't much negative news surrounding him.

The only thing that could have been negative would be if Beckett had ripped Daniel Nava for going home with a throw in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly in which he had no chance of throwing out the speedy B.J. Upton, who tagged from third.

Upton scored, and tied the game at 1-1. Nava's throw home allowed Matt Joyce to tag up and advance to second, representing the go-ahead run. As a result, Joyce scored on the very next at-bat, as Luke Scott singled to right field, giving the Rays a 2-1 lead.

But Beckett wasn't upset with the throw afterwards. He actually praised Nava for being aggressive and trying to prevent the game from being tied at 1-1.

"I'd rather a guy be aggressive," said Beckett. "Maybe you can get to the big leagues by being afraid to make mistakes, but you're going to make mistakes here. That's just the way it is. You try to minimize it, but, he's trying to throw a guy out. I'd never fault him for that.

"Some people say he should have thrown that ball to second, and he throws it home. He's just trying to throw a guy out. I don't mind being aggressive."