Joba vs. Beckett
An absolute GEM of a pitchers duel last night. Two arms that light up the radar guns with great fastballs, while mixing in pretty darn good secondary stuff as well. Joba is going to be a legitimate front end starter, if he is not there already. And rather than leaving it somewhat broad at “front end starter” I would declare him to be a future ace. However, “Ace” isn’t exactly an easy status to earn, and it is difficult to come by for any pitcher, no matter the talent, at such a young age. But we already knew this, right? I listen to the scouts for this sort of thing, Keith Law in particular, and they have been saying all along that he will become a number one starter, or at least close to it. But Chamberlain is coming along quite nicely. And all those naysayers who believe that a set up man/reliever has as much value as a dominant starter, where are you now? Joba dominated for seven innings last night. Don’t expect seven innings of shutout ball each night, but it is just an indication of his worth, and what could take place on any given night.
As for Beckett, he was great too. There was trouble on the basepaths throughout the game, but other than a few hard hit singles up the middle, he controlled the Yankees bats nearly as well as a pitcher can. There was not a single extra base hit, and he let only one scamper to first base without nudging the ball into play. There were weakly hit balls that fell in. And as Remy noted, the cutter was the “cause” of three hits. But none of those three singles were hit well at all, one being Giambi’s slowly hit grounder opposite the shift. Beckett threw a GEM as well, Joba was just a little better.