Beckett: ‘It really wasn’t that big a deal
|10.07.09 at 5:19 am ET|
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The last time Josh Beckett threw a bullpen in preparation for an American League Division Series at Angels Stadium, all eyes were on the righty, from general manager Theo Epstein, to pitching coach John Farrell, to a foul-line full of cameras catching his every move.
Tuesday, Beckett was back in the visitors’ bullpen, getting ready for his ALDS start against the Angels, Friday night, but this time few took notice. And that’s the way he likes it.
“It feels good,” said Beckett throwing his first side session in which Victor Martinez served as the catcher. “As good as it is supposed to feel this time of year.”
Farrell agreed that the session was a productive — and healthy — one.
“It was good,” the Sox’ pitching coach said. “The one thing we continuously stress is the consistency of his curveball, especially out of the stretch. But it was very consistent today of the bullpens of late. There’s no issues, no lingering affects, of the upper back muscles, the spasms. He’s primed and ready to go for Friday.”
If there was a reason for onlookers to take notice of Beckett’s performance it was because of those back spasms Farrell references. He had gotten three cortisone shots after experiencing the ailment 1 1/2 weeks ago, forcing him to miss a start. But, according to Beckett, the whole situation shouldn’t have warranted the kind of attention it ultimately received.
“I just had those two days where I had the back spasms. I don’t think I even needed the shots, I just wanted the pain to go away that day,” the pitcher said. “All they were where back spasms. I don’t know who ended up blowing it up into this big situation. It really wasn’t that big a deal. It was trigger point injection with cortisone and all it was was tight muscles. It really wasn’t anything. I really didn’t do anything to my back. I just woke up that day and my back was stiff.”
Beckett said that he came away from his final regular season start, Saturday, feeling ready to head into the postseason with the kind of comfort which was nowhere to be found throughout last season’s run through the playoffs.
“I felt find. There were no problems,” said Beckett of the days following his five-inning, four-run outing against Cleveland, Saturday at Fenway Park. “I’m ready to go. I don’t how this thing was blow all out of proportion.”
Judging by his latest test, Tuesday’s bullpen session, Farrell has no reason to doubt his hurler.
“He’s throwing the ball with the freedom that he has for the majority of this year, compared to a year ago where we were trying to nurse him through the latter part of the season into the post-season,” the Sox’ pitching coach said. “That’s not even close to where he feels right now.”
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