Josh Beckett Contemplates Tweaking Pregame Routine to Improve on First Inning Struggles

Josh Beckett Contemplates Tweaking Pregame Routine to Improve on First Inning StrugglesBOSTON — The first inning has resulted in trouble for Josh Beckett.

Through 16 starts, the right-hander has notched a 10.69 ERA. When asked if Beckett should start warming up earlier — to accelerate his adjustment to game conditions — Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine disagreed with the suggestion.

"Josh warms up earlier than anyone in the history of baseball," Valentine said. "Now, the question would be, should he warm up later? Maybe. But this is a dog that is hard to teach a new trick to."

"He's been very successful warming up as early as he warms up, but I've never seen anyone have the break he has in between the time he warms up and the time he goes out there."

When pitchers typically throw long toss, Valentine said Beckett is already throwing pitches in the bullpen. Still, despite that routine, Beckett and pitching coach Bob McClure are still working on ways to end the first-inning troubles.

"I don't now that changing the habit is going to do anything other than give an answer to the question," Valentine said. "That means all of a sudden something is going to change? I was confident he was going to go out yesterday and put up a zero. I'm confident next time he goes out there, he’s going to put up a zero in the first inning."

This season, Beckett has allowed 19 runs in 16 first innings.

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