Saturday, June 20, 2009

HELP! Atlanta 8 Boston 2

Friday night at Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, the first four pitches thrown by Boston Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka resulted in a home run, a single and a double, hardly an auspicious beginning for the helpless hurler in an 8-2 loss to the visiting Atlanta Braves. He is clearly struggling as he tries to nibble less and keep his pitches DOWN in the strike zone. Instead, those pitches have been fat, right down the middle of the plate, eminently hittable. The Atlanta Braves took advantage of Daisuke's offerings and torched him for eight hits and six runs in only four plus innings of work, if you want to call it that. His ERA ballooned to 8.23 and his spot in the starting rotation is clearly in jeopardy. He said this after his aborted outing...

“This time I feel it’s taking way too much time to break through, so now might be the time where I need to reach out for some advice, for some help,” he said. If I keep going like this, I have no right to be a part of this rotation."

Boston manager Terry "Tito" Francona was asked when the Sox powers-that-be will decide on Matsuzaka's fate...

“We’ve got an off day Monday, we’ll certainly sit down - we have the ability to be a little flexible in what we do going forward,” Sox manager Terry Francona said. “Saying that, I don’t know if it makes a lot of sense to do something before the off day. We’ll see where we line up after that.”

To me, at first it makes all the sense in the world to jettison the Japanese starter to the bullpen, NOT the minor leagues. But then again, if that happens, when will he see action? In blowouts? In close games? Matsuzaka's entire makeup is geared towards being a starter. He takes a long time to warm up before each of his starts and HE IS NOT SUITABLE FOR BULLPEN DUTY. That's it...pure and simple. I say demote him to Triple A Pawtucket and let him get the help he wants and sorely needs. He will not go to the 'pen but the Red Sox cannot afford to simply forfeit every fifth game because of his inability to throw a strike without it being smashed to all portions of Fenway Park, in or out of play. PERIOD.

I've already turned the page and am looking forward to tonight's contest between Josh Beckett, who is looking forward to rebounding from a disastrous performance in his last start, against old friend Derek Lowe, who was an important cog in the 2004 "Band of Idiots" who won it all. It should be Fenway fun tonight beginning shortly after 7pm EDT. The weather will be a factor, however, as rain moves eastward from central Pennsylvania during the day today. Let's hope Boston will monitor the radar and make an intelligent decision, unlike their pregame decision to play ball Thursday night when the option to call the game off was theirs, all theirs, until the first pitch was thrown. After that, the game's fate is in the hands of the umpire crew. Let's hope it doesn't come down to that tonight.

Thank you for stopping in on this warm Saturday morning. You can click on this post's title for more Sox news and as always, BE WELL. That's the most important thing in the short period of time we call life, life itself. I'll be seeing you...soon. Your comments are welcome.

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