This afternoon, we have Josh Beckett versus Jeremy Guthrie. With Commander Kick Ass of the F@#k Yeah Brigade on the hill, sounds like a slam-dunk, right? Maybe. Guthrie’s been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise abysmal season for the Os. But more significantly, as I discussed on FanHouse, Guthrie’s got Mormon Power on his side, owing much of his pitching prowess to a two-year Mormon mission he took through northern Spain.

“Things I never did prior to the mission I was able to do afterward, even though it wasn’t by my doing,” Guthrie said. “It wasn’t something I expected or asked for. I didn’t want to be a missionary for two years so I could be a better baseball player. In high school, I worked 10 hours a day and lifted weights, and I wasn’t able to come close to achieving what I could when I got back.”

A cool story, and from what I’ve read of the guy, Guthrie seems like a nice sort of chap. That said, here’s hoping Papi makes him cry. You know, in a nice way.