I’ve heard several times this morning that Beckett is relying less on his fastball this year. I’m here to provide statistical proof that they’re wrong. I can’t find final 2006 stats for Beckett’s pitch selection, but I posted about it on August 10th, showing he was throwing the fastball 71% of the time and batters were hitting .264 off it. In 2007, Beckett is actually throwing the fastball more, at 72% of the time. Batters are hitting .259 off it. In fact, the fastball and curve make up 91% of his repertoire this season, compared to just 88% in 2006.
Look, I’m just as excited as the next guy about Beckett’s first 2 starts. But we need to be realize how early the season is. Here’s a sobering fact: Beckett was 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA after his first 3 starts in 2006. He went 7 innings in each start, giving up just 1 earned run in each. He imploded in his next 4 starts.
I hate to rain on everyone’s parade and I hope Beckett continues this hot streak, but look at the facts. Don’t be clouded by 2 good starts. He’s done it before. Wait until he’s done it for an entire month. His best ERA for a month in 2006 was 4.42.