Daisuke Finds His Zone...Red Sox 1 Twins 0
Just as the title said, Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has been off his game in a big way since he went down with an injury a few weeks ago, regained his pitching wits Monday night at friendly Fenway Park in beautiful downtown Boston. The Red Sox won the game against the red-hot Twins by a tintillating score of 1-0, courtesy of a Manny Ramirez smash to rightfield. Dustin Pedroia had doubled and scampered home easily. That was the eighth inning, and Daisuke Matsuzaka came on in the bottom half of the inning and tried to protect that slim lead. Alas, he could not. After a bunt single and a single to right, he was gone and his countryman Hideki Okajima was summoned from the 'pen. In all, 71 of Daisuke's 109 pitches were strikes, and he was in command, control-wise, walking only three while striking out five. May we please see some more of the same, Mr. Matsuzaka? Please? Okie was able to finish the eighth after some anxious moments and Jonathon Papelbon was back to normal with a 1-2-3 ninth, needing only nine pitches to send the crowd home happy. It was a big game for the team after two tough losses to the Yankees, and this is what Tito Francona had to say...
"I didn't care who it was, just push a run across and make it stand, but it was great," said Francona. "We needed something, anything, so we can leave here on a night with a little frustration offensively, but we got a win."
Peter here with a big DITTO. And the (Devil) Rays did the unexpected--they lost! Boston creeps up to 4 games back and one game back of Minnesota in the wild card race. Let's get that down to two back of Tampa Bay by the All Star break, which starts after the Sunday game.
There is other big Red Sox news on this too early Tuesday morning. First and foremost is the good news that Big Papi David Ortiz took his first real swings since he suffered that wrist injury. He took 36 swings and hit 6 of 'em out of the park. Slow and easy, David. We'll see you soon after the break. And the other piece of big news is that Justin Masterson, who will be a star in the next couple of years, was sent to Pawtucket to make room for Clay Buchholz, who will start against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. Justin will make the transition to a relief role, where any and all help would be excellent. I think it's a great move, not because of what anything Justin did or didn't do in his stint with the Sox but because Clay clearly was able to iron out such things as arm movement and arm slot location, and that enabled him to go more than 22 innings straight without giving up a single run. With the status of Bartolo Colon still up in the air, the addition of Buchholz will be a welcome sight indeed. And I guarantee you we'll see Justin Masterson and his tough sidearm deliveries soon, coming in from the bullpen to help shore up that bridge to Paps.
Click on the title of this post for more on Clay Buchholz, who had a rough outing in his last Pawtucket start. Last night's Sox game would have been a tough one to lose, but it sure was a sweet one to win. Thank you for stopping by, your comments are always welcome and will be responded to every time. That's a promise. BE WELL.