Oh, wow. I don’t even know what to say about this. This is a tough situation. It really is.
As we all know, Beckett has been painfully mediocre this year. And when I see painfully, I mean painfully. To the point where even labeling him as mediocre is being generous. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we can just do without him. Technically when we headed into Spring Training, we were short on starters as it was. And now he had to leave last night’s contest after pitching two and two-thirds innings with a back spasm. That is bad news. Back problems didn’t leave him alone in 2010, and they better not be back in 2012. Not now. Especially not now.
It was noticeable, too. He mowed through the Tigers in the first and second, and I really wanted the opportunity to settle in and watch some vintage Beckett. He secured the first two outs in the third, and then things turned bad on a dime. He gave up a single, hit a batter, and loaded the bases with a walk. And then he walked in Detroit’s first run. That was when he called the trainers, and then he left. It’s hard to say at this point how serious it is, I guess. It all depends on whether the problem persists despite treatment and rest, which themselves take time. Either way, like I said, we can’t very easily do without him at this point, especially not if he was just about to return to his usual self.
Mortensen relieved him and finished the third. He gave up two walks in the fourth but got through it, and he pitched through the fifth and part of the sixth.
We had the bases loaded with two out in the first but didn’t do anything with it. We barely threatened in the second and went down in order in the third. We finally scored runs in the fourth, and we scored a handful. We started the rally with two straight singles by Ross and Salty. Then Middlebrooks struck out. Shoppach walked to load the bases, and then we made up for for throwing away the same opportunity in the first. Ciriaco singled in our first run. Ellsbury walked in our second. Crawford singled in our third. And we scored our fourth thanks to a little help from a fielding error.
The game ended early, which was a good thing, too, because the Tigers left the bases loaded in the rain; Morales had come in to pitch. The final score was 4-1.
Ben kept it quiet at the deadline; we traded Matt Albers and Scott Podsednik to the D-Backs for southpaw Craig Breslow.