Saturday, October 11, 2008

DAISUKE DOMINATION...Boston 2 Tampa Bay 0

Seven innings pitched. ZERO runs on four hits and two walks. That was Daisuke Matsuzaka's pitching line for Friday's Tampa Bay Rays/Boston Red Sox game. The Red Sox won the game by a score of 2-0, taking a 1-0 series lead. Josh Beckett will face the Ray's erratic at times Scott Kazmir tonight at 8pm EDT on TBS and TBSHD. But last night, it was all the escape artist known as Daisuke Matsuzaka. He didn't allow a hit until the bottom of the seventh, but there were a few bumps in the road. Right off the bat (no pun intended), Matsuzaka was in a jam with the bases full of Rays. After 27 pitches, the inning was over with no runners coming anywhere near the plate. Cliff Floyd grounded out to end it. Yet again, the Red Sox starter had wriggled out of it, much as he's done all season long in amassing 19 wins. He did not give up a hit until the seventh inning, an inning he got through unscathed and unscored upon. And then it was the 'pen's turn, and they shined just as brightly. Okajima, our Darkman, Masterson and Papelbon shut down the Rays' offense much like I shut off the oven when a meal is finished. Here is what Sox manager Terry Francona had to say after the game. Dice K chimes in with his thoughts, too...

"He was powering through that stretch, two-seamer and cutter," manager Terry Francona said. "His ball had a lot of life through the strike zone."

"With my fastball not where I wanted it to be, I used my second pitches to the corner," Dice-K said.

"He doesn't give in," Francona said. "He throws all his pitches so hitters have to respect, even in tight situations, he doesn't become a one-pitch pitcher."

I have a treat for you. The Hartford Courant's sportwriter, the incomparable Jeff Jacobs, wrote a column for the Saturday morning Courant entitled AN ESCAPE ARTIST AT HIS BEST. Of course, he meant Daisuke, and all you have to do to access that piece is simply click on the title of this post. If you're reading this on a news feeder or BASEBALL NOOZE, click into my actual blog site and then click on the title. But if you're here, it's easy. I know you will enjoy it...the man has a way with sports and words unmatched by any other human, at least on THIS planet.

So until that fateful hour of 8pm EDT, enjoy your Saturday and the start of the weekend. Our eyes turn to Josh Beckett. If he can turn it up a notch and regain his sharpness, the Rays will be making the trip to wonderful Boston down 0-2. Wouldn't that be nice? Wouldn't that be wonderful? Wouldn't that be terrific? OK, ok, I can stop now. As always and forever, BE WELL. And I'd love to read and respond to your comments...until 8pm...GO SOX


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