There’s the Nolan Ryan brand of “I came here to kick your butts and chew some gum, and I’m all out of gum” cocky (see also Jack Morris, and his mostly averageish performance never discouraged him), and there’s the Pedro Martinez borderline-homicidal-psychopath brand; I especially appreciate the smug factory that is Greg Maddux, the man who always knows something you, the batter, don’t. Josh Beckett is a little different. His body language usually says “This is easy, man,” like as soon as he gets done striking you and all your buddies out, he’s going to go climb some cliffs, just to do something challenging. It’s served the man, well, too: 6-0 with 82 Ks and a 1.73 ERA in 9 starts, 72 innings in the postseason. That didn’t come against the Orioles and Devil Rays either, mind.
Josh Beckett’s career shape is strange, maybe unprecedented. He was good enough to reach the majors to stay at age 22, and he was an elite pitcher at age 23. What separates him from most everyone else with that kind of background is his innings. Beckett was elite at 23, 138 ERA+, but he threw only 142 innings, then 156, then 178. It wasn’t until he reached Boston, at age 26, that he finally threw 200 innings.
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