By Matt Snyder
If you were strolling through the box scores and wondered why Red Sox All-Star pitcher Josh Beckett was pulled from the game with an 8-3 lead after five innings and 68 pitches, we've got you covered. Beckett left for precautionary reasons due to a "mildly hyperextended left knee." (Tony Lee via Twitter).
The precautionary reasons would be that there's no reason to risk an injury in the rain with a five-run lead and four innings to play. Beckett had a shutout through four but fell into trouble in the fifth. He actually appeared to slip -- it had been raining most of the game -- and then had some grounds crew members work on the wet mound for a few minutes. Beckett then labored just to get out of the inning. The guess here is that he would have stayed in had the mound been completely dry and the game been close.
Beckett, 31, came into the game with a 7-3 record, 2.12 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. Next week, he's headed to his third career All-Star Game.
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