Varitek wowed by Beckett
Jason Varitek isn’t prone to hyberbole. If anything, he is usually pretty guarded with praise, just like he is with criticism. So it means something when he is as impressed as he was with Josh Beckett’s performance on Sunday night against the Yankees.
Where did the performance rate in terms of pure stuff?
“Best I’ve seen him. As far as complete, absolutely,” said Varitek.
Beckett is at his best when his power can be off-set with his non-power stuff. He had all that stuff going against the Yankees.
“Very good,” Varitek said. “He had a good feel for his curveball. I think the power on his four-seamer set all that up.”
Did Varitek see a game like this coming?
“Some outings, you saw the power out of him in spring,” Varitek said. “It was no secret he was making some adjustments, making some mechanical adjustments and doing things. It’s not always an adjustment you can snap your fingers and make overnight. It’s a very good lineup. They were one man down [Alex Rodriguez], but the guy who took his place is pretty good himself. It was a very big start for us.”
Of course, with Varitek behind the plate for Beckett’s masterpiece, there will probably be public obsession now with whether the captain should handle all of Beckett’s starts. But manager Terry Francona doesn’t seem inclined to go in that direction. Instead, he will work in whatever direction gives him the best matchups, and also provides the most rest for the starting catcher, Jarrod Saltalamacchia.