While the Yankees have yet to beat Fenway's Finest in 2009, the thing I loved about last night's 7-0 shutout--as much as seeing Big Papi destroy an A.J. Burnett pitch to deep, straight-away center--was that Josh Beckett freaking dominated a very hot lineup by pitching to contact for outs and going for the throat when he needed it.
Beckett's line for last night:
- 6 Innings
- 93 Pitches
- 59 Strikes
- 8 Ks
- 21 Batter's faced
- 2 BBs
- 1 Hit
- 6 Groundouts, 4 Flyouts
The first few innings saw a good amount of pitching to contact for grounders and pop-outs, but as the game progressed and runs were scored by the Sox, Beckett became more dominant, more overpowering with corner-painting fastball and 12-6 curveball. His curve was hitting both the high, low and outside parts of the plate--and he was mixing it well enough with the fastball in any count that there was little the Yankees could do, but retreat to the dugout.
There's an excellent post from Mazz on what Lester and Beckett have been doing lately with their pitching--along with some keen history. Here's a snippet about just how good Beckett was last night:
Last night, as was the case last week in Detroit, Beckett had no-hit stuff. The
only hit he allowed was an infield single to Robinson Cano in the fourth inning.
Three nights after Lester struck out 10 of the first 18 batters he faced in six
perfect innings, Beckett walked off the Fenway Park mound at the end of the
sixth inning last night having whiffed eight of the final 16 batters he faced
while allowing just three balls out of the infield.
He's now 7-2, with a 3.77 ERA and ranked 6th in the AL in strikeouts with 76.
That was an excellent one hitter against a very tough lineup, Mr. Beckett. Keep it up.