Pitcher Josh Beckett of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during a game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Over the last 25 MLB seasons, only nine pitchers have posted a sub-2.00 ERA for an entire season. The list is dotted with future Hall of Famers such as Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez. The last pitcher to do so was Roger Clemens in 2005; only Clemens and Martinez have done so since 1997.
Which brings us to Josh Beckett, who has always been a good pitcher who touched the edges of greatness. Through his first 14 starts of 2011, he has posted a 1.86 ERA; his 218 ERA+ leads the AL by a significant margin (Jered Weaver is second with 180). Beckett has allowed just 5.4 hits per nine innings, also leading the league (Justin Verlander is the only other AL hurler giving up under six hits per nine IP).
Beckett has allowed more than three runs in a start just once this season and since May 1 his ERA is 1.40, on a WHIP of 0.965. His last start was a one-hit, complete-game shutout of the Rays on June 15 in which he threw only 97 pitches.
So can Beckett keep up this amazing pace and finish with a sub-2.00 ERA? Vote in our poll.
Can Josh Beckett post a sub-2.00 ERA for the entire 2011 season?
Definitely. It's a pitcher's year and Beckett is one of the best around. (21 votes)
No way. There are just too many good hitters in baseball today. (69 votes)
90 total votes