2-1: Dice-K wins it in style, 2-1

A very good outing by Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-0) tonight. 6 2/3 innings, one run on just two hits and no walks, plus 9 Ks. If you look at the stat line, he was dominant; however, Dice-K is one of those pitchers that somehow doesn’t look like he is dominating people. At least early on, he was getting behind hitters and throwing a lot of pitches again. To his credit, he didn’t give in to them and didn’t walk a single man. His fastball was sitting at 91 mph with good movement for most of the game, and his 77-79 mph curve was really effective, setting up a lot of his strikeouts. He mixed in a nice cut fastball, along with his signature change. Was it me, or was his delivery still a little inconsistent throughout the game? Matsuzaka sometimes finishes different pitches differently, or he’s not being consistent in his follow-through..

Joe Blanton continues to give the Red Sox trouble. He lasted 6 innings, giving up just two runs on seven hits and a walk. Kevin Youkilis had a really good night at the plate, punching a bloop single to right to make the run in the 5th possible; he then tripled in the 6th and scored the go ahead. Top of the 6th, two outs: Jason Varitek robbed. Clearly a home run, which should have made it 3-1.

Bottom of the 7th, Dice-K is pulled with two outs and the bases empty. I think it’s the right call, especially given how early it is the season. Hideki Okajima comes in to face lefty Jack Cust, who homered on an outside fastball in the 2nd, and he’s bouncing pitches in. What gives? He also hangs an Oke-Doke in the 8th, but manages to escape unscathed. Not his night.

Top of the 9th, Coco Crisp lays down a really nice bunt hit with one out, giving Keith Foulke some nervous moments. It was kind of funny seeing Foulke going for the ball, with Jack Hannahan clearly in better position to field and throw. That was a huge brain fart and it almost cost them huge. BTW, I like Hannahan a lot. He’s just the type of player the A’s seem to always have; a good defender, fundamentally sound, and does just enough at the plate to be valuable. They won’t miss Eric Chavez much, from the looks of it.

Jonathan Papelbon looked pretty sharp, throwing 93-94 mph heat with decent control. He struck out 3 of 4 batters faced for save number 2. He was mowing them down, but seriously, Paps, what’s with the grabbing your crotch on national TV? Eww.

Game 3, and still no J.D. Drew. Jacoby Ellsbury started in right tonight. Does this guy ever plan on showing up to play? Julio Lugo was playing really deep at short this game; is the infield at McAfee really fast or something? But I also didn’t see him charging any grounders; he seemed kinda lazy out there. Kinda bothered me, that’s all. Anyway, a win’s a win, right?


2 Responses to 2-1: Dice-K wins it in style, 2-1

  1. Pat says:

    Really great game. First quality game for the sox.

    I like Tito pulling Dice-K before he hits 100 pitches. I had actually wanted Dice pulled before the 7th, but I’m satisfied with what happened. A huge benefit of having a good bullpen is being able to confidently pull our starters before they are cooked. We saw what throwing 230 innings did to Sabathia last post season, and what happened to Matsuzaka in the second half of last season.

    I think Francona will be pulling Dice earlier this year, but not by much.

  2. redsoxtalk says:

    The Sox are as vigilant as anyone about pitch counts, and often over-cautious with their young arms. So don’t worry about Dice-K; they’ll take care of him. The question is whether he’ll let them.

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