Josh Beckett's golfing incident
Plus talk of dream pitching matchups and an amazing no-hit streak
It's always fun when the stars align and you get two of the game's best pitchers squaring off, and that's the case Thursday in the Bronx when CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees host David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays. Our experts discuss their dream pitching matchups, Josh Beckett's golf habits and Jared Burton's amazing streak.
1. Josh Beckett was apparently golfing two days before he missed a start with a sore lat. Is this a problem?
Matt Meyers (@mtmeyers), ESPN.com
As far as I'm concerned it's only a problem if he was already feeling discomfort and still went golfing, which could actually aggravate the "injury." But if he hurt it golfing (or the day after), I don't see the problem. While I can see not wanting your players to ride a motorcycle or even play basketball, banning golf would be a bit much.
Diane Firstman (@dianagram), Value Over Replacement Grit
The reports had the issue as a "tight right lat," which golfing would likely exacerbate. Setting aside any contractual issue regarding "outside activities," it put him at risk for further injury, and it just doesn't look right from "think of your job and your team" perspective. His start tonight will be heavily scrutinized.
Jason Wojciechowski (@ljlwoj), Beaneball
Steve Silva of Boston.com said it best when he wrote, "Move over chicken and beer." This has probably happened a thousand times before, but under the microscope in Boston, it's suddenly a big deal. Have you seen John Daly? Golfing doesn't take much, athleticism-wise. It seems unlikely that his round on the links made any difference.
2. David Price and CC Sabathia square off Thursday. Among current players, what's your dream pitching matchup?
Meyers: Stephen Strasburg vs. Yu Darvish. They are the two most exciting young arms in the game, and both have the ability to make hitters look foolish with velocity and deception. I'm more interested in watching pitchers who can fool you in a variety of ways than guys who just try to overpower hitters.
Firstman: Justin Verlander vs. Jamie Moyer. Verlander has four "plus" pitches and actually gains velocity in the later innings. There's no-hit potential every time out from this workhorse. Moyer's fastball is slower than Verlander's curve and he barely clears 5 K's per 9, but he's managed to win 234 games after going back to the minors in 1992 at age 29.
Wojciechowski: I'm a big fan of contrasts of style, so my dream matchup is Moyer against Strasburg. Gas vs. fumes, the next big thing vs. the old guy who won't go away. The best part is that they're both in the National League, so they have to hit against each other.
3. Twins reliever Jared Burton has thrown 10 2/3 consecutive no-hit innings. Why aren't people talking about this?
Meyers: I don't know, but they should be! Let's be honest, this is probably the most interesting thing that is going to happen to the Twins all season, and it deserves all the attention we can give it.
Firstman: He is a nondescript 30-year-old setup man on a floundering team. Twins news is dominated by the health of Morneau and Mauer and what's eating Francisco Liriano. Unlike hitting streaks, you are never really sure if/when the setup man will be used in any game, so no one sets the DVR/hits the remote to see if the streak continues.
Wojciechowski: Mainly because Burton pitches for the Twins. That's not fair, and throwing more than a complete game's worth of no-hitter is an accomplishment, even if there's surely quite a bit of luck involved. You should probably start tuning in on MLB.tv or Extra Innings to see how far he can carry this.