Celtics

Beckett and the O's

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Beckett and the O's

Yesterday at Fenway, the Sox sent a pitcher to the mound who has been more dominant against the Orioles than just about any pitcher in baseball history has been against any team in baseball history.

It didn't work out so well, as Jon Lester a career 14-0 against Baltimore gave up eight hits, four runs (two earned) and lasted only six innings in the Sox eventual in the Sox 8-6 loss.

So, tonight the Sox will try a little reverse psychology and send out a guy who's been anything but dominant against the O's: Josh Beckett. (it's also just his turn in the rotation).

Of the 13 teams that Beckett has started against at least 10 times in his career, there are only three against which he has a worse ERA than the 4.25 he sports vs. Baltimore.

In all, Beckett's a career 7-5 against the O's with 102 strikeouts, only 26 walks and a 1.213 WHIP. None of those numbers are bad. None of them are particularly good.

But if yesterday's any indicator, good isn't always good. Bad isn't always bad. Sometimes average is just right.

OK, I have on idea what I'm talking about except to say that the Sox need a win tonight, and they've got one of the two pitchers on the mound who they have around for situations just like this. The ball is yours, Beckett.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Brady enjoying "unique experience" of road trip

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Brady enjoying "unique experience" of road trip

While being away from home isn’t uncommon for the Patriots - just think about all those Super Bowl trips - Tom Brady believes each excursion takes on it’s own feel, it’s own flavor and - eventually - it’s own meaning.

Back in 2014, the Pats went from playing in Green Bay and losing to the Packers straight to San Diego for a week on the West Coast prior to a rousing victory over the Chargers. That week, many players said in the aftermath, helped propel the team to great heights,.  You’ll recall, that season ended in grand fashion, a triumph in Super Bowl 49 over Seattle, at the time - and maybe still - the greatest Super Bowl ever played.

“I think all these experiences are pretty unique,” Brady said Friday from Falcon Stadium at the Air Force Academy. “That was a very unique experience. This is different.”

Brady spoke about the number of stops the Pats have and will have to make on this trip - from Denver to Colorado Springs then on to Mexico City Saturday before a Sunday night return to Foxboro and their own beds for the first time in 10 nights.

“When you’re on the road like this, there’s less to do,” he said. “You know my family is not here, my kids aren’t here. There’s nobody telling me what I did wrong in the house. It’s just being at home and now it’s being here and trying to figure out a way to win a game.”

Brady quickly smoothed over any possible ill-will at home - why make Gisele mad? - smiling and saying “I didn’t mean that so I’ll take it back.”

Kidding aside, the 40-year old signal caller seemed pleased with the work the Patriots have put in during this long trip. A week of team-bonding can’t be a bad thing, especially for a group that seems to be hitting it’s stride both on and off the field. There’s the five wins in a row and also a locker room that has a better understanding of one another than it did during the first month of the season. But Brady is not ready to make any grand proclamations. That just wouldn’t be his style.

“I think it’s still work in progress,” he said of team chemistry. “You look at still adding a player like Marty (Bennett) last week. Things are always changing and evolving. We’re still trying to figure out what we’re doing well and after 8 or 9 weeks, you start to figure those things out. Now we have to work hard at those things, try to really own them, and use them going forward to try and win the most important games. We have a lot of important games coming up, starting with this one. Hopefully we can play our best football going forward.”

Brady said he’s been fired up for this game with the Raiders south of the border ever since the schedule was released all those months ago.

“I’ve never been to Mexico City,” he said. “It’s been a game you kind of look forward to. We’re playing against a really good football team in a pretty cool environment. It will be very memorable. I think everyone is excited.”