...but, alas, it must be done.
Do you recall ever seeing him with such an expression? Me, either. Pissed off, yes. Looking that...defeated? No. Hilg.
About midway through the bottom of the second, as Beckett shook off V-Mart and fussed and fumed at everyone's favorite, CB Bucknor, I wondered how long it would be before he couldn't take it anymore and disappointed his mother by blowing a gasket. Turns out the answer was 6.2 innings.
That's when a pitch slipped from his hand and hit Mike Napoli, who was only too happy to hold his left shoulder out for the incoming ball. And sure enough, with two stolen bases and a run already wearing on his nerves in the inning, there went Beckett, storming from the mound toward the umpire, complaining bitterly.He continued to spit and sputter as V-Mart jogged out toward him for a meeting, and the ministrations of the catcher seemed largely ineffective in calming Beckett.
When Erick Aybar followed with a double over Ellsbury's head in deep center to put the Angels up 4-1, it was clear Beckett was cooked. He was pulled from the game mid-inning, hardly the outcome Red Sox fans had vowed after the Angels and umpiring had gotten to No. 1 starter Jon Lester the night before.
But this was also another night in which unfortunate starting pitching and officiating were overshadowed by an utterly ineffectual Red Sox offense. You could argue that's still a result of the Angels winning the starting pitching matchup, but this is also a Red Sox team that once went approximately a Biblical epoch without being able to buy a bleepin' timely hit back in July and early August, so I'm not sure I buy that. Especially since they had the tying run at the plate against Brian Fuentes in the top of the ninth, and still went quietly into that good night.
That said, this could just be the large amounts of Robitussin I've consumed in the last three days, but I remain surprisingly Zen about this whole thing so far. The Sox can clearly play better than this, and we've been through too many postseasons around here this decade to count the Sox out when their backs are against the wall.
Sunday. Fenway Park. Noon. Be there. And Go Sox.