When thinking about the last post, the Fan was forced to consider the stud pitchers in baseball. Some of the usual names popped up like Halladay, Santana and Carpenter. Those and maybe a few more are usually considered when making such a list. But what about Josh Beckett. He plays on a team that has gotten national attention the past ten years (granted a team that is wildly loved and vividly hated) that has won two World Series titles. Yet, he isn't usually on the elite pitcher list.
But he should be. And not just because he is 13-4 this year. Since 2005, Beckett is 76-40, giving him an average season (and this year isn't over) of 15-8. But wins and losses aren't everything, of course. He's also struck out 8.5 batters per nine innings over his career and 2.8 walks per nine innings. And his run of walks per nine innings the last three years? Try 1.8, 1.8 and 2.5.
In 2007, Beckett was 20-7 and came in second in the Cy Young voting. Last year, he was only 12-10 with an ERA of 4.03, but the Fan contends that he was just as good last year. More of Beckett's balls in play fell in for hits last year than this year or 2007, so it was probably an unlucky year. His 5.06 strikeouts/walk ration was the best of his career last year.
The Fan isn't sure what it is about Beckett that doesn't put him on the list of elite major league pitchers. He used to be a great talent who got a lot of blisters. Even his www.baseball-reference.com page is sponsored by an organization that says, "More blisters than Ron Mexico." Beckett is also a great money pitcher, as his 7-2 record in post season play indicates as does his 2.72 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 89 innings.
Josh Beckett is among the top five pitchers in baseball and even though he plays for a highly visible team like the Red Sox, he seems to get lost in the shuffle.