Beckett's rough first inning dooms Red Sox


Beckett's rough first inning dooms Red Sox

CHICAGO -- What few mistakes Josh Beckett made in the Red Sox road trip finale, he managed to make them early.

But those mistakes loomed large later, thanks to his counterpart, Gavin Floyd.

Beckett allowed a run-scoring single to Alex Rios and a two-run homer to Adam Dunn in the first inning, handing the Chicago White Sox a quick 3-0 lead that would stand up for a 4-1 White Sox victory.

"That's a pretty tough hole to put your team in," said Beckett, 2-3, "especially with a guy (Floyd) who I know has pitched well against us in the past."

The pitch to Dunn, guessed Beckett, was "assuming the way he hit, probably right down the (expletive) middle. The two-run homer was the difference between that and the rest of the game. You can give them one, in that situation. Leadoff guy (Alejando De Aza) gets a hit, they bunt him over and they want to manufacture a run in the first inning.

"As a pitcher, you have to minimize the damage and give them the one run and move on."

After the first, Beckett was masterful, allowing just two baserunners from the second through the sixth.

In the seventh, he seemed to tire some, allowing a two-out single to Eduardo Escobar, the No. 9 hitter, before finishing with two straight walks and giving way to Scott Atchison.

"Josh was good with all of his pitches," said Bobby Valentine. "His stuff might have been a little flat in (the first inning). The rest of the game, right up until the last pitch he threw, it looked like he had good movement, location, his curve ball was good.

"It was one of those days where we didn't score for him."

Beckett left with two out in the seventh, having tied a career-high with 126 pitches, his most in a start since 2004.

"I wasn't really paying too much attention to it," he said of the workload. "I was just trying to get that last out (which resulted in a 12-pitch walk to Brent Lillibridge)."

It helps that Beckett, like Jon Lester (124 pitches Saturday night) will get an extra day of rest before the next turn, thanks to a scheduled off-day Thursday.

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Starter Drew Pomeranz gives up three runs on five hits in four innings of work in the Red Sox' 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday.

Lou Merloni breaks down Pomeranz's start and explains why he should be in the starting rotation to begin the season.

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

The dearth of homegrown starting pitching for the Red Sox is talked about almost as much as every Tom Brady post on Instagram.

Red Sox fans may take some solace in knowing their team isn’t the only one dealing with this problem.

In an interview with's Mark Feinsand, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t talk about his team’s pitching problems in context of the Red Sox. But the explanation the longtime Yanks boss offered should sound familiar. 

In the biggest of markets, time to develop properly is scarce.

“Yeah. It's a fact,” Cashman said when asked if criticism of their pitching development was fair. “I think part of the process has been certainly where we draft. Because we've had a lot of success, we've not been allowed to tank and go off the board and therefore get access to some of the high-end stuff that plays out to be impactful. Part of it is we can't get out of our own way because we don't have the patience to let guys finish off their development, because if you possess some unique ability that stands out above everybody else -- whether it was Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, now [Luis] Severino and before that [Bryan] Mitchell and Shane Greene -- we're pulling them up before their development is finished.

“Teams like Tampa Bay, for instance, they're going to wait until they have their four pitches down and their innings limits are all exceeded at the minor-league level; they're very disciplined in that approach as they finish off their starters. For us, if I'm looking at my owner and he says, ‘What's our best team we can take north?’ 

“Well, ‘We could take this guy; he's not necessarily 100 percent finished off, but we can stick him in our 'pen. He can be in the back end of our rotation, because he's better than some of the guys we already have,’ and then you cut corners, so I think that probably plays a role in it.”

Not everything is circumstantial, though -- or a deflection. 

“And sometimes we don't make the right decisions, either, when we're making draft selections and signings and stuff like that,” Cashman continued. “On top of it all, playing in New York is a lot different than playing anywhere else.”

We’ve heard that last part about Boston too, here and there.

Cashman was complimentary of his current Sox counterpart, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, whose team Cashman has compared to the Golden State Warriors.

On his feelings when he first heard the Sox were getting Chris Sale:

“When that trade was consummated, that was the first thing I thought about, which was, 'Wow, look at what they've done,' ” Cashman said. “I know how it's going to play out for them. Listen, Steve Kerr does a great job managing that team -- oh, I mean John Farrell. It's a lot of talent and with talent comes pressure to perform. I think Dave Dombrowski has done everything he possibly can to provide that city with a world championship team. They've got 162 games to show it.”