Thursday, April 09, 2009
DICE-HR AND SOX LOSE RUBBER GAME
Was Daisuke Matsuzaka's first start of the '09 campaign good or bad? I really have no idea. He gave up 3 homeruns, and only pitched 5.1 innings. But 4 earned runs isn't horrible. It's not very good for 16 outs of work, but it did give the Sox a chance to win. Which they almost did.
It seems like against the Rays, the Sox tend to hit the ball hard, but right at someone. And when Tampa Bay's at-bat, they get these soft hits, and eventually the guy comes around to score. But I think they're more of an opportunistic team. We also have some big holes in the lineup.
Jason Varitek hasn't been one of those holes. His solo shot dramatically increased the Sox' chances of winning. Jed Lowrie is a hole, though. JD Drew was also a hole, though he hit a ball hard. Same story for Pedroia.
The Sox left 5 men in scoring position, 3 by Lowrie, 2 by Drew.
Hideki "CitiGroup" Okajima once again had to be bailed out by Justin "The TARP" Masterson. What a bizarre inning from Okajima. Starts off with 2 strikeouts, then walks 2, falls behind 3-0, and gives up a hit. He nearly blew the game, all with 2 outs.
Razor Ramon Ramirez looked good, getting 5 straight outs. He's eliminated all 8 men he's faced in a Red Sox uniform.
I'm going to be blunt here, the Sox need to fuck with the Rays' hitters. Did you notice how Dustin Pedroia got knocked on his ass by Matt Garza this afternoon? Did you notice how often Garza pitched inside, then went outside? The Sox used to do it back in the Pedro Martinez epoch, but in the last two years, they haven't pitched hard and inside. Daisuke might be able to challenge hitters over the plate if he makes them duck to avoid the pitch before.
I'm not saying the Sox should intentionally bean Evan Longoria. But he and all the other Rays have turned the batting box into a country club. Next time these teams face, that MUST change.
The Man of the Game is Matt Garza, who pitched around trouble in the 1st, then cruised through 7 innings of work, allowing 1 run, and striking out 5.
Here's the Bitch-Goat:
Tim Wakefield goes for the Sox tomorrow night, as the Sox play the Angels at 10 PM.
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer