Daisuke Who? Red Sox 2 Tigers 1
Last night during the spring training game between the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox, pitting Justin Verlander and Daisuke Matsuzaka, Daisuke pounded the strike zone again and again, not wasting any pitches to try and tempt the batter into swinging at a bad pitch. He was ON last night and the Boston Red Sox won the game against the Detroit Cats by a score of 2-1. Yes, that's right, another 2-1 tight one. Here's the guy who probably knows Matsuzaka and his modus operandi the best, the Boston captain, Jason Varitek...
“I don’t think it’s a lack of challenging hitters, it’s just a case of getting the ball where he wants it to go. He made quality strikes today as opposed to getting a bad result on a misfire. Sometimes when you are locating better, you get a misfire and it’s a popup. I don’t think it’s a matter of him trying to throw around the strike zone. He just needs to repeat what he’s doing.’’
What the captain was trying to say was that a repetitive series of pitches that attack the strike zone would be a very effective weapon for Matsuzaka. It certainly was last night down in the Sunshine State. Here's the Dice Man...
“I was placing my pitches today. I was able to throw strikes. That’s all I need to do.”
I wish it was that simple, Daisuke. And members of Red Sox Nation, no matter how many rumors we've ALL heard, Boston cannot afford to trade Daisuke. He's staying right here in New England. Having Timmy Wakefield as an extra starting pitcher is a nice luxury that the Sox are lucky to have but they need Matsuzaka as their number five guy. Period. It was nice to see him come out with fire in his eyes and a sharpshooter's touch. A 2-1 baseball game does not allow either the winning or losing pitcher much room for error. Last night, he didn't need it.
I'll leave you on this early Hump Day Wednesday morning with a link to the Boston Herald Red Sox home page. Simply click on this post's title and ZAPP!! You're there. Enjoy the day and as always, BE WELL. God bless those in Japan who are in dire straights. So very many are. Too many.