Or was it?
Eight seasons ago, Beckett pitched a two-hit shutout against the Yankees in the final game of the World Series as a member of the Marlins.
Sunday night, he two-hit the Yankees for eight innings and struck out 10 as the Red Sox won the rubber match of the three-game series at Fenway Park, 4-0.
But Jorge Posada, who struck out all three times Sunday night, said Beckett is a different pitcher than he was in 2003, when he threw mostly fastballs and curves. Now, Posada said, Beckett has command of five pitches -- and the numbers back him up.
According to pitchfx.com, Beckett threw 29 fastballs, 24 curveballs, 18 changeups, 18 cutters and 13 two-seamers Sunday night. "Today's one of those cases where he was on," Posada said. "He was throwing everything for a strike."
Beckett hit Russell Martin with a pitch in the third after Chavez's single but got out of the jam when Brett Gardner hit into an inning-ending 4-4-3 double play. "The strikeouts were great," Beckett said. "But I think the biggest pitch I had to make was the double-play ball I got Gardner on."
"We're thrilled with the way he pitched," manager Terry Francona said. "When he's establishing his fastball and then flipping his curve for strikes, it's a nice combination."
And the Red Sox needed it. They went into Sunday night with a 1-7 record. Culprits? Start with the starters, who had a 7.46 ERA.
"It's welcome to see anyone pitch like that," Francona said.
Beckett is trying to rebound from an injury-filled 2010 in which he went 6-6 with a 5.78 ERA. The 30-year-old is signed for four more years at a total of $68 million, and you have to believe the Red Sox are getting a little nervous about that financial commitment. Sunday night probably helped.
Before the game, the Red Sox announced another long-term deal: a four-year, $30.5-million extension with Clay Buchholz, 26, that, with two option years, could keep the righthander in the fold for six more seasons.