The Red Sox scored eight runs in the first three innings last night, allowing Josh Beckett to become the first 7 game winner in baseball last night, and the first Red Sox pitcher since Rogelio Moret in 1973 to start a season 7-0 as Boston rolled to a 9-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays last night.
Jeff Horrigan has Beckett enjoying the offensive support from this teammates in the win. Gordon Edes has Beckett wishing he could’ve picked up a bat for the game last night. Sean McAdam looks at Beckett bouncing back from his first pitch, which was hit out of the park, and his third pitch, which was hit for a double, to settle down and pitch like the ace he has become. Jeff Goldberg notes that the Rogers Centre was the location of the beginning of Beckett’s downfall in 2006, but this outing showed how far he has come. Bill Ballou looks at Red Sox hitters continuing to pound the ball with Beckett on the mound.
Nick Cafardo has scouts giving their opinions on Beckett, with one calling him the best pitcher in the league this season, and another referring to his stuff as “absolutely filthy.” Michael Silverman notes the difference in this year’s Beckett as opposed to the version we saw in 2006.
Steve Buckley examines the struggles of Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen down in Pawtucket, where things came to a head last week when the duo gave up nine runs in the bottom of the ninth in a game against Buffalo, turning a 14-6 lead into a 15-14 loss for the PawSox.
Horrigan has Daisuke Matsuzaka changing up his routine this week to include 109 pitches in a bullpen session Sunday, hoping to shake the issues that have plagued him in one-inning spurts this season. Edes says that Tomo Ohka might take the mound tonight with something to prove against his fellow countryman Matsuzaka. Rob Bradfordhas a look at how John Blake, the Red Sox vice president of media relations has dealt with the media crush that has followed the team since the addition of Matsuzaka.
Horrigan has Toronto manager John Gibbons feeling the heat of his club’s early season struggles.
Edes’s notebook has Jason Varitek going 4-4 to lift his average to .284, 59 points higher than it was on May 1. Horrigan’s notebook says that Kevin Youkilis may sit out tonight’s game after getting hit in the left leg for the second game in a row. McAdam’s notebook has more on Dice-K working on his mechanics. Goldberg’s notebook has tonight’s matchup with Ohka secondary to the Red Sox wanting to see Matsuzaka pitch without a one inning meltdown. Ballou’s notebook has Matsuzaka hoping to halt the trend that has seen his ERA rise with each of his starts this season.
Ellis Hobbs was in the spotlight yesterday, as the third year cornerback talked about his season and his recovery from wrist surgery. Albert Breer has Hobbs ready to be a rock at corner for the Patriots, no matter what Asante Samuel does. Christopher L. Gasper has Hobbs looking forward to being healthy for the start of camp. John Tomase has Hobbs oozing confidence as he enters his third season with the Patriots. He also has Hobbs explaining the meaning of the term “You got Mossed.”
Tomase’s notebook has Don Davis joining the coaching staff as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.
Dan Shaughnessy offers some picked-up pieces from the world of sports.
Peter May says Paul Pierce will not be a part of USA basketball this summer.
Jim McCabe has players mixed on the 17th hole at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.