BOSTON -- An immediate effect of the Red Sox's mega-deal with the Dodgers was that it dispensed with Josh Beckett's scheduled start against the Royals on Saturday night at Fenway Park.
"We had an idea. We do all our homework. It's no big deal," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Except that Beckett, in his career, has a 7-1 record and 2.58 ERA against the royals in 10 starts. But he was on a plane to Los Angeles and his replacement was Aaron Cook, 0-1 with a 6.52 ERA in two starts against Kansas City.
Royals veteran Alex Gordon said that players aren't all that concerned about the past history of the other team's starting pitcher.
"Not really," Gordon said. "You can't really worry about what they're doing. They're going to throw whoever they need to. We've just got to control whatever we can in our at-bats. Whoever it is, make sure we're prepared whether it's Aaron Cook or Beckett."
Obviously, though, batters are aware of how they've done against a certain pitcher in the past. On Friday night, Gordon went against Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester at 0-for-11 with six strikeouts.
"I went into last night knowing I hadn't had that much success against Lester, but I didn't think it was going to carry over. I went in there with confidence and thinking I was going to get a hit every time I went up, but I knew it was going to be a challenge," Gordon said after going 2-for-4 with an RBI double against Lester.
"Yeah, we think about it, but this game is about forgetting what happened in the past, if it's good or bad, and focusing on what you can do today."
The change in Red Sox pitchers probably suited the Royals' Jeff Francoeur. He was just 1-for-19 (.053) against Beckett but 10-for-26 (.385) against Cook.