Rapid Reaction: Mariners 3, Sox 2 (11)
July, 1, 2012
By John Hickey | ESPNBoston.com
SEATTLE -- It's probably a little too early to say that everything is good to go with Josh Beckett, but he did look good Saturday night in his return from the disabled list.
The 31-year-old, who last pitched on June 11, threw 85 pitches over six innings, and in just one of the six innings did the Seattle Mariners mount anything that resembled a threat.
The shoulder problems that sent Beckett to the DL weren't an issue. For the first five innings, the Mariners got just one hit and one walk off him. The sixth saw Seattle put together three hits, two walks (one intentional) and two runs, but the inning would have been considerably cleaner if shortstop Mike Aviles or left fielder Daniel Nava had tracked down Kyle Seager's rather routine pop fly.
Instead, it fell for a hit, loading the bases and setting up a two-run John Jaso double.
Manager Bobby Valentine could have lifted Beckett at that point, but he let the veteran finish out the inning. One intentional walk and a couple of grounders later, Beckett was in the clubhouse with a job well done.
The concern about Beckett's performance is that Seattle isn't the greatest competition and therefore not a great barometer of how well he threw. The Mariners came into the night with a .197 batting average at home, and their recent performances were so egregious that Seattle manager Eric Wedge held a 22-minute, closed-door meeting with his troops before the game.
The meeting must have paid off. Chone Figgins delivered his first RBI since June 2, a sacrifice fly to right against Alfredo Aceves in the 11th inning to give Seattle a 3-2 win over Boston.
Still, Beckett could have gotten a win in his return if the Boston bats had shown a little more muscle on his behalf while he was in the game.
And that's not nothing.