After Josh Beckett was scratched from Monday's start due to back spasms — caused by bad beds in hotels on the road, according to his own professional opinion — fans wondered whether he'd be the same reliable old Josh Beckett come October.
He might be, thanks to some cortisone injections.
The Red Sox ace was able to take the mound for a final regular-season start on Saturday night thanks to three shots after the spasms began, according to The Boston Globe. In the early going, the injections didn't look to be doing him any good — he allowed four runs in the first two innings — but the good news is, the offense bailed him out with a seven-run second inning and he didn't allow another Indian to score after that.
In total, he only lasted five innings — not quite the standard Red Sox Nation is used to — but it was encouraging to see him take the mound at all. We all saw what happened to Boston's postseason hopes in 2008, when Beckett wasn't healthy.
"I definitely don't want to limp in [to the postseason] this year," he told the Globe after Boston's 11-6 win. "Obviously I know in the back of my mind that the most important thing today was to be healthy when I'm sitting here. It was important for me to go out there, because I haven't pitched in 10 days, and feel good not only physically, but mentally, too."
Despite his early struggles, Beckett appears good to go in the playoffs. He's still got some learning to do before Boston's series against Los Angeles starts on Thursday, but the most important thing is that his back is healthy enough for him to take the mound.
"I definitely need to get some emotions in check," Beckett said. "Every pitch [on Saturday] I tried to throw harder than the one before that. It caused me to miss location. The pitches probably weren't even as hard as I was trying to throw them. It was just one of those deals. If they ever go to a nine-man rotation, I'm not in."
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