Boston Red Sox Need a Strong Outing from Josh Beckett Against the Orioles

Christopher Benvie@CSBenvie81Correspondent IIJune 6, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MAY 31:  Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park May 31, 2012  in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox are still over .500 but just barely heading into Wednesday night's action against the Baltimore Orioles.

The team sits at 28-27 and hopes to get the game back they lost to the O's in last night's extra innings extravaganza. Alfredo Aceves picked up the loss in the 10th inning of a disappointing 8-6 final.

Josh Beckett, otherwise known as the Ace of the Red Sox pitching staff, needs to continue his string of recent success that has seen him win three of his last four outings.

Beckett has allowed just seven runs over his last four games, bringing his ERA down from the 5.97 it was to start the month of May to 4.26, which is where it currently resides.

In his last 28.2 innings, he has looked like the Beckett of old, striking out 20 batters and not allowing a single home run against Seattle, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay or Detroit.

He currently owns a 4-5 record with a 1.232 WHIP. While Beckett does not own the best record on the Red Sox, he does own the second best ERA (Felix Doubront has the best at 3.75) and the best WHIP.

Tonight he will certainly have his hands full as he squares off against the 4-2 Wei-Yin Chen, who owns a 3.75 ERA and 1.333 WHIP. Chen is certainly looking to rebound after losing his last three decisions, his last win actually coming against the Red Sox on May 4 in a five inning, four run effort.

Beckett has yet to face the Orioles in 2012. In his career, he has faced the O's 18 times and owns a 7-5 record against them.

In 118.2 innings of work, he has posted a 4.25 ERA and 1.213 WHIP with 102 strikeouts. It doesn't come across as the most dominating of figures, but that ERA is comparatively second only to the 2.82 he owns against the Tampa Bay Rays in AL East competition.

All of that non-withstanding, it is not typical of Josh Beckett to lose two games consecutively, though he has already done that this season. The Red Sox will rely heavily on the big Texan to bring his A-game against the O's.