Thursday, April 09, 2009


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:
Daisuke: 0.4
Lowrie: 0.3
Drew: 0.2
Pedroia: 0.1

Tim Wakefield goes for the Sox tomorrow night, as the Sox play the Angels at 10 PM.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer


Last night's 7-2 loss to the Rays reminded me so much of 2008, and of 2007 as well. Jon Lester throwing dozens of pitches to get a single out. The Sox making inexcusable defensive mistakes against the Rays, a poor bullpen performance that turned a manageable deficit into a big lead for the opponent, and an inconsistent offense that couldn't get the big hit.

Is Jason Varitek recovering from cancer or something? Why are Red Sox fans treating his 0 for 4 "with some good swings in there" as some sort of accomplishment. I'm sorry, but the bullshit he pulled this offseason means no-holds-barred criticism of Captain LOB. He went 0 for 4. Yeah, he looks better this year than he did last year. But he had a good start to the 2008 season, didn't he? If he looks this good in mid-May, I'll give him credit for being a Major League hitter again. Until then, 0 for 4 is 0 for 4 is 0 for 4.

Oh, and Bob Davidson, the home plate umpire, SUCKED. I like big strike zones, but calling the outside strike as he was is ridiculous. He was calling pitches strikes that Zdeno Chara couldn't reach with a hockey stick. But Varitek, Lester, and the Sox should have adjusted and tried to hit the outside corner a bit more.

The Man of the Game is Scott Kazmir. He took full advantage of the Buick sized strike zone and went 6 innings, bending but not breaking.

The Bitch-Goat. In case you don't know, the Bitch-Goat (BG) is distributed after every loss based on who I think deserves the blame for the defeat.

Jon Lester gets 0.6 of a Bitch-Goat point. He struggled through 5, finally cracking in the 5th. Jed Lowrie and Mike Lowell each get 0.1 for their 0 for 3 nights. Rocco Baldelli gets 0.2 for leaving 4 men on base. Hopefully, he won't be hitting 5th again for awhile.

Daisuke vs. Garza next, which is in the 3rd as I finish this post.