Josh Beckett Cites Rainy Conditions on the Rubber for Subpar Footing, Back Spasms

by NESN Staff

August 1, 2012

Josh Beckett Cites Rainy Conditions on the Rubber for Subpar Footing, Back SpasmsBOSTON — Prior to Tuesday's game, Josh Beckett was already experiencing a topsy-turvy week.

First, his name was splattered all over trade rumors. Then, he was trying to find ways to end his first-inning woes. But his abbreviated outing in the Red Sox' 4-1 win over the Tigers in six innings was the culmination of the craziness.

After tossing 2 2/3 innings, Beckett suddenly exited the game with a spasm in his lower back. Both Beckett and Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine cited the wet conditions on the rubber for resulting in his lackluster footing and subsequent back pain.

"When he got out of the windup, the footing just wasn't the same and his back spasmed up a little bit," Valentine said. "Right now, he's got the aftermath of a back spasm. I just saw him putting on his shorts and everything. We'll take it day by day, see how he feels tomorrow and in between."

Beckett said the discomfort crept up on him during the last "four to five pitches" of his 49-pitch outing. Before surrendering a run in the third inning, Beckett had retired the first eight batters.

During the third — when rainy conditions started to pick up — he allowed a single to Omar Infante, plunked Austin Jackson and walked two batters to yield his first run of the game.

"It's been worse," Beckett said. "It wasn't getting any better. I obviously couldn't throw a strike. I mean, the mound was a little sloppy, I think everybody was having trouble with it. You don't usually see [Justin] Verlander walk that many guys. It wasn't in great shape, but that's stuff that you're paid to deal with."

It caused many to reminisce about Beckett's injury in 2010, when he suffered back spasms in rainy conditions in New York. That year, the pain prompted the Red Sox to place the pitcher on the disabled list for quite some time.

"New York was kind of like one of those deals where I felt it on one pitch," Beckett said. "This wasn't that severe. Like I said, it kept getting worse and I couldn't throw a strike."

Beckett classified his back's status as "stiff" afterward. Still, amid his shortened outing, the hurler hasn't yielded a home run in a career-high 12 straight starts, a streak that dates back to May 15.

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