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Beckett's fastball not as effective anymore

8/28/2012

What’s all the excitement for about Josh Beckett?

Josh BeckettumBeckettThe newly acquired Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher made his first start for a National League team since 2005, and he’s simply not the same pitcher anymore.

Beckett allowed a leadoff home run to Tyler Colvin after allowing just one leadoff homer in his entire five-season NL stint with the Florida Marlins.

Much of his decline can be attributed to a decline in fastball velocity.

Josh Beckett Average Pitch Velocity
Last 2 Seasons

Beckett’s heater averaged more than 94 MPH in 2009 but it has decreased in average velocity each of the last three seasons. It’s down to 91.5 MPH this season. In fact, his fastest fastball velocity this season is 94 MPH, which is slower than his average fastball velocity in 2009 (94.1).

But it’s not just his fastball. The average velocity of his cutter has decreased each of the last three seasons. It averages 89.1 MPH this season, a full 2 MPH lower than it was in 2009.

His changeup and curveball are both nearly 2 MPH slower this season than they were last season.

Beckett is now winless in his last seven starts. He’s lost five straight decisions for the first time in his career. He’s won just one game since May. He hasn’t had a quality start since July 15.

HOW BECKETT LOST

• Five of Beckett's seven hits allowed, including both extra-base hits, came on his fastballs (2/4-seam). It's his fourth straight start in which he's allowed at least five hits via the fastball, his longest streak in the last four seasons.

• Beckett tied a season high by going to eight three-ball counts, which ran up his pitch count. Six of the eight three-ball counts came after he was originally ahead 1-2 or 2-2. That especially hurt his outing, as he had to come out after 5 ⅔ innings with 108 pitches.