Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Daisuke...Short, NOT Sweet...Again

Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona put Daisuke Matsuzaka's outing Monday night in perfect perspective....

"What was the final count, 101?" Francona said. "It's a lot of pitches. It's a lot of deep counts. Saying that, he made the one glaring mistake to Lofton for the two-run home run. The more pitches you throw, especially to dangerous hitters, the better chance you give them. I mean, that's the same concept that we talk about all the time, they kind of reversed it on us."

Way too many pitches. Way too many long counts. He only lasted 4 2/3 innings. 101 pitches in that span is a ridiculous number. His outing was, in a word, excruciating. I have a few other choice words, but they are better left unsaid. The Cleveland Indians went ahead in the series two games to one by beating the Red Sox 4-2. The big blow was struck by Kenny Lofton. After dilly-dallying before approaching the plate for that at bat, drawing the ire of catcher Jason Varitek, he launched one that barely cleared the outstretched glove of JD Drew and landed in the seats beyond rightfield. That made the score 2-0, and the scene was set for another Boston setback. Only Tek's two run bomb off Ceveland starter and winner Jake Westbrook in the 7th inning kept the Sox from being shut out. They collected 7 hits, but the Indians only managed 6. They scored 4 runs, and that was more than enough.

So now the Red Sox, down two games to one with a possible 4 left to play, pin their 2007 hopes and dreams on knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who hasn't pitched since September 29th. His September ERA was a staggering 8.76. There are those in the media who are calling for Tito to skip his turn and go to superstar Josh Beckett tonight. He would be pitching on 3 days rest. But Francona is going to stick to his guns and go with Wakes....for better or for worse. If he and his team, our team, win, the series would be tied at 2 with a rested (5 days) Beckett ready to go on Thursday. Schilling (gulp!) and Daisuke (bigger gulp!!), if needed, will follow, all on an extra day of rest. It comes down to Wakes and his dancing knuckleball. Tonight, on Fox, in a late 8:07pm EDT start.

Click on the title of this post for the Hartford Courant's Jeff Jacobs' Tuesday morning column. It title? "By Josh, Francona should alter rotation." It's an illuminating, informative and entertaining piece, written by a master sportswriter. Just click on the title, and enjoy!

So now, in a little more than 13 hours, it's do or die time for Boston. The LAST thing they want is to be down 3 games to 1. And so it goes. Have a great Tuesday, turn the page yet again, and be well.


At 10/16/2007 10:00 AM, Blogger Bosox Fan in Wichita said...

I wouldn't be too hard on Matsuzaka. Their batters had a good plan against him; they were patient and hit good pitches. Our batters, on the other hand, seemed content to hit ground balls after not swinging at the first pitch strike ... time and time again. Even knowing their pitcher lives on sinkers to induce ground balls, out guys couldn't adjust. I expect they'll be seeing more of the same from Byrd tonight. Let's hope Wake is on and his experience pays off. Go Sox!

At 10/16/2007 11:38 AM, Blogger Jay said...

Dice-K got a bit unlucky with Lofton jumping on that fastball. He also went away from his curve, I thought, when it was really working for him in the third and 4th (it was downright nasty then). of course, Joe Buck jinxed him in the 5th when he pointed out how well he was pitching and it all unraveled, but I don't think he was that bad.

That said, I am shaking over the prospect of him going in a 7th game.

At 10/16/2007 5:06 PM, Blogger laura said...

The UMPIRE! Ruined the game!! Never have I seen so many bad calls and hopefully, I never will again. That's all I could write about in today's post, it still makes me so mad.

At 10/17/2007 6:51 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

BFW, after the Loften home run, he was a different pitcher, relying way too much on his off speed breaking stuff. He HAS NOT FOUND his mix, yet, and he's running out of time. Thanks for the comment. Jay, me too, but I'm shaking when I think of Schill with an 88MPH fastball. Laura, I honestly don't know. But thank you ALL for your comments. It's Wed. morning, and we all know what happened last night. Mirth and then mayhem. Please leave your thoughts on my Tuesday post. Have a great Hump Day, cuz weez sliding toward the weekend. With a "fairly" big game to come Thursday night.

At 10/17/2007 12:28 PM, Blogger Bosox Fan in Wichita said...

You say Daisuke has not found his mix yet, but it's Tek calling the pitches and I don't see Daisuke shaking him off. Maybe it's more of Daisuke not executing and placement of the pitch. Have to give the Indians' hitters credit, too ... I can still see that one-handed golf shot that fell into shallow left field for a hit.

No matter how good I think he was, it obviously wasn't good enough.

At 10/17/2007 2:26 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

BFW, but everything changed after Lofton hit it...watch the pitcher? Not sure...but i think I am.


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