Josh Beckett's pitching transition
September, 14, 2012
By Keith Law | ESPN.com
Stephen Dunn/Getty ImagesJosh Beckett allowed one run on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings Thursday night against St. Louis.Josh Beckett is a pitcher in transition, no longer able to dial up his four-seam fastball to 97 mph and throw a wipeout curveball to miss bats. On Thursday night at Dodger Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals, he was fortunate to exit the game with just one run allowed, having shown average-to-fringy stuff all night without the fastball command a pitcher like that needs to be successful.
Beckett topped out at 91 mph and mostly threw his fastball in the 87 mph to 90 mph range, but instead of his old fastball-centric approach, he opted for the kitchen sink, mixing in a few two-seamers, a ton of cutters, a very mediocre changeup and a mid-70s curveball that is probably his best pitch but that he can't use as his primary way of getting ahead in the count.
Beckett needs to work on locating the four-seamer better to the corners and staying out of the upper middle part of the zone, an area he used to own when he was throwing gas. He also seems to go to the cutter too often; it's not sharp and the break is visible right out of Beckett's hand.