Friday, October 19, 2007

ALCS: On Josh Beckett

What Josh Beckett is doing in the post season is more than simply impressive. He isn't just silencing the Indians after dominating the Angels, and he's not merely winning key ballgames. He's putting himself into rarified company. So far in this postseason, Beckett is 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA, 26 K's and 1 walk in 23 innings. He's holding opponents to a .181 batting average, and his 2007 WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) is a laughable 0.61. Those are numbers you'd be hard-pressed to duplicate in a video game. Beckett's all-time postseason numbers are 4-0, 1.78, 73 strikeouts, 13 walks in 65 2/3 IP. These aren't just good numbers, they compare with all time post-season stats for Sandy Koufax (3-1, 0.95, 61K/11BB), Bob Gibson (2-1, 1.89, 92/17) and the estimable Mr. Schilling (8-2, 2.23, 111/23). This year's ALDS and ALCS performance by Beckett is also augmenting what will almost certainly be 2007 Cy Young numbers (20-7, 200 IP, 3.27 ERA, 194 K, 40 BB, and a WHIP of 1.14)

As we sit today, pondering how Curt Schilling may add to (or detract from) his glittering postseason numbers at Fenway tomorrow night, it's worth noting that Josh Beckett has joined him in an elite class. Remember, Beckett is already a World Series MVP. Combine that with 2007, and we're witnessing the blossoming of a talent that stands up quite nicely alongside the primes of the great money pitchers of the last few generations. One other point to remember, for those who say "Sure, but how long can he keep this up?": Josh Beckett will turn 28 next May 15.

No comments: