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The Sox have started the 2012 campaign much as they started and ended 2011—lifeless and losing. The Detroit Tigers handed Josh Beckett and the Sox a 10-0 loss Saturday in Detroit and the Sox are off to a quick 0-2 start. Sunday, they turn to Clay Buccholz to right the ship.
The Tigers pounded Beckett for 7 hits, including a career-worst 5 home runs in just 4.2 innings. Miguel Cabrera and offseason acquisition Prince Fielder each homered twic,e while catcher Alex Avila added the fifth.
Beckett’s fastball never seemed crisp and he hung a number of breaking balls. He continued to work slowly with men on base. He seemed overly preoccupied with Austin Jackson after walking him in the first inning. He then surrendering the first of Cabrera’s 2 bombs, and things went downhill from there.
Beckett entered the game with concerns about his thumb but said after the game that it was not an issue. The Sox can only hope that there are no long term health concerns and it was merely a bad outing.
While Beckett and relievers Albers and Atchison were all ineffective on the mound the offense was also dismal for the second straight day. The Sox managed only 7 hits and struck out 11 times. In 2 games they have just 12 hits, have struck out 19 times and and scored just 2 runs. While a lack of production can be excused against Justin Verlander in Game 1, Saturday’s power outage came against the likes of Doug Fister (who left after 3.2 2 innings with a muscle strain), Duane Below, Octavio Dotel, Phil Coke, and Joaquin Benoit. They had just 1 extra base hit and were 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position.
The conventional wisdom when the Sox broke camp was that they could not afford a slow start like they had in 2011. That they had to put the bad feelings left from last season’s collapse in the past and start 2012 playing good ball. Time is running out to accomplish that.