Josh Beckett was simply sensational on Wednesday night in opening the ALDS at Fenway Park against the Los Angeles Angels. He allowed just four hits in pitching a complete game shutout as the Red Sox won, 4-0.
There was a massive throng of folks at Professor Thom's to root on their heroes. It was as crowded as I have ever seen it at the bar for the first Red Sox postseason game at the New York City Red Sox fan haven.
Beckett pitched a better game than the one he pitched in 2003 to give the Florida Marlins the World Series title in 2003, the Game 6 shutout victory over the Yankees. He was never in trouble the entire night, as the Angels only got a man to third once, in the first inning.
Kevin Youkilis hit a homer in the first, and David Ortiz added a two-run shot in the third to pace the Red Sox attack against John Lackey, who lost at Fenway for the third time this year.
The win puts the Red Sox into the driver's seat as far as the series goes, and Daisuke Matsuzaka will try to put the Sox up 2-0 on Friday night. And I would guess there will be an even bigger crowd at the bar once again. (So get there early by all means!)
And oh yes, how did Beckett match Roger Clemens on Wednesday night? He tied him on the all-time Red Sox list of victories in the postseason by a pitcher. Yes, tied him with one. Clemens, the so-called "greatest pitcher of all-time" by some pundits, won a grand total of ONE game in five postseason series with the Red Sox.
And it took Josh Beckett, aka "Commander Kick Ass," just one postseason start to match him.