Josh Beckett Cleared for Game 3

Josh Beckett

Red Sox fans can breath a sigh of relief: Josh Beckett, who's battling a strained oblique, threw a 27-minute, 65-pitch side session in Los Angeles on Thursday without any setbacks. From Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald:

"Provided there's no concerns coming out of his exams after the bullpen or the follow-up tomorrow, he should be on line for Sunday," pitching coach John Farrell said. "That hasn't been an official announcement but I will tell you that from the look in his bullpen today, he looks ready to go Sunday."

The workout was especially encouraging considering Beckett didn't hold anything back -- he was able to throw all of his pitches without any discomfort. It remains to be seen whether that translates into actual success come game time, but it's worth pointing out that he posted a 2.16 ERA in his last four starts of the regular season.

Of course, if the Red Sox win tonight (and Boston is currently riding a nine-game winning streak in the playoffs), Beckett's start on Sunday will be an elimination game. Nothing against the Angels, but given all of Beckett's postseason theatrics throughout his career, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which he doesn't come through with his "A" game, injury or not.

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