Dead Rising, Seas Parting, And Other Miracles

  • May 3, 2007, Daisuke Matsuzaka: 5 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 7 ER
  • July 23, 2004, Curt Schilling: 5.1 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 7 ER
  • July 18, 1999, Pedro Martinez: 3.2 IP, 12 H, 9 R, 7 ER
  • July 5, 1986, Roger Clemens: 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER
  • July 18, 1967, Jim Lonborg: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 7 ER

First things first: This was an absolutely horrendous start by Daisuke Matsuzaka. For the second time in a row — and really the fourth, if you think about it — he lost all ability to find the strike zone for an entire inning. That is certainly disconcerting. For a pitcher to show such dominance in most every facet of the game to seemingly without reason pitch like, well, like I would for an inning is frustrating and demoralizing, certanly for the team that then must try to bail him out.

Thankfully, the Red Sox did bail him out, scoring seven runs to match his seven, then getting the eighth in the eighth to seal it. The Red Sox could have easily rolled over, and who would blame them? Their "$100 million ace" laid an egg. It happens. As we can see above, the best pitchers in their best seasons still bomb a game or two (except Pedro in 2000). And the four pitchers above were not adjusting to a new professional baseball league, let alone a new country. (Although, in all honesty, Pedro’s 1999 crapfest was the result of overthrowing for the 5 Ks in the All-Star Game).

Clearly, for all the talk about not expecting too much from Matsuzaka, we were indeed expecting too much from him — at least based on the reactions in our game thread. Perhaps this is his fault for handling the Royals, Mariners and Blue Jays so well in his first three starts. But Sox fans were deluding themselves if they honestly expected his first season to go without bumps. This is one of those bumps. If Matsuzaka is the pitcher everyone says he is — and there’s not yet any reason to believe otherwise — he will adjust, he will adapt, and he will ultimately become the #1/#2 pitcher the Sox expect him to be. There is simply no rational call for bridge-jumping proclamations of mediocrity.

So the headlines tomorrow will undoubtedly be about what, if anything, is wrong with Daisuke Matsuzaka. But the fact remains: The Sox rallied from an early deficit and won a game no one really expected them to win once the damage was mostly complete. If the Boston Red Sox can win a game in which one of their top pitchers gives up seven runs, this is not a bad thing. It’s certainly, at least, the silver lining in what appears to be a growing cloud of concern.

52 comments… add one
  • Pretty much what I love about this game is they had no right to win it…at all. And they did anyway.
    It’s ugly, but it’s beautiful.

    Devine May 4, 2007, 12:54 am
  • I think what gets Sox fans riled up is that this is becoming a pattern; Daisuke suddenly loses control of his pitches for an inning, walks the park, and can’t get out of trouble without giving up the lead. It’s not pretty to watch.
    Am I worried? No. Even great pitchers have bad outings, as cited above, and he’s still trying to find a routine to help him adapt to pitching in the US. But is it frustrating to see Daisuke look so rattled and out of control at times? Absolutely.

    mouse - SF May 4, 2007, 2:17 am
  • Once is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern.
    Top 1st, Daisuke walked Ichiro and had to pitch from the stretch. He went wild.
    Top 5th, Ibanez walked, he pitches from the stretch, he gives up three hits again.
    It makes no sense to me either, but we’ve seen it before and I bet we’ll see it again.

    Kazz May 4, 2007, 2:30 am
  • Yankees fan v.s. Sox fan ???
    Is this a Joke??? A joke like the rivalry???
    The rivalry : 26 – 6 in favor of the yanks
    sox Fan v.s. yanks fan : 100-6 in favor of yanks fans . Why??? Simple .
    Berra , Rizzuto , Elston Howard , Maris , Mantle , Ruth , Gator , Bernie , Dickey , Mattingly , Yankee Stadium , THE ROCKET (yup more a yankee than a redsock for sure) , Di Maggio , Billy Martin , back to back to back to back to back WS titles , Tom Brady is our fan hahahahahaha , everyone is our fan hahaha , Nettles , MO Rivera ,Reggie Jackson , Five game sweep at Fenway , Aaron Boone , Posada’s Bloop double , Tino titles Martinez , 2001 World Series ( wow , and we lost that one ) ,Wade boggs (hehehehe) , Boston Massacre , Catfish Hunter , El Duque. STOP! Wells and Cone throw Perfect games in the same year!!! And we win the title , Oh and whitey in the 59 W.S. , 1998 , 1998 , 1998 , 11 years atop the division , Thurman Munson , the ghosts , General Mc Carhty , #( , yes , #( A.L. Pennants .STOP! Now I will , altough I am not done , probably 10% done
    SOX fans : Ted , Pesky , Marichal , Big Papi , Manny , Curt , Cy Young , ^ titles ( one in 88 years , so to most fans is really just one ) and 2004 . Is that it?!?! Really???
    yes , sad but true , really . What a shame .
    So you see , the rivalry is something Sox fans invented so they wouldn’t feel so left out of the action the yankees have always had and that Boston in 2004 was able to capture .
    Only after Boone buried Wakefield and the sox in 2003 did anyone pay attention to it .
    2004 was good for you guys , But you can’t top a game 7 extra innings series ending walk off home run . Ask Bill Mazerowski . He’s in the Hall of Fame on credit for that 1960 WS ending walkoff homerun against the yankees . So is Boone in the Yankee fans Hall of Fame .
    End of argument , and I KNOW I AM RIGHT.
    GO YANKS!!!

    Arny May 4, 2007, 2:42 am
  • I expect to see this sort of post now and again. It always depresses me and never for the reasons the poster wishes.

    Devine May 4, 2007, 2:46 am
  • amy- add biggest choke in the history of organized sports. it’s a record thats stood for….i don’t know…..the history of sports. i guess the old addage of “what have you done for me lately” applies. the answer of course would be…nothing. i’d be bitter too.

    sf rod May 4, 2007, 5:42 am
  • Sox fans are really sad. Criticizing Yankee fans and their “excuses” saying how Sow fans don’t use “excuses”, come on, get over it already.

    Erick May 4, 2007, 6:26 am
  • I think we might get some inevitable comparisons to Josh Beckett last year: pitcher with great stuff, but has bouts with control (or missed spots) and gets hammered due to lack of pinpoint control. The difference is that Matsuzaka isn’t giving up the bombs. He isn’t getting hammered; he’s giving guys free bases and getting burned on opportunistic hits. Last night, in the fifth, there was ONE hard hit ball, and it came early in the inning. Otherwise, it was a walk and two super-cheap hits (hits that with only a miniscule adjustment defensively would have eradicated), an infield grounder and a sky-high popup that Crisp couldn’t run down. So Matsuzaka is clearly suffering through something (doesn’t seem physical to me, but I have no way of knowing), but it’s nothing like watching Beckett last year, waiting for the death blow. I am not encouraged by his intermittent travails, but neither am I nearly as worried about them like last year with Beckett. He’s getting hurt very differently, to me.

    SF May 4, 2007, 7:07 am
  • Didn’t Pedro go on the DL shortly following the post All-Star game crapfest?
    (I was at that All-Star Game – one of the great baseball moments of my life, for sure, between all those players emerging with Ted Williams and then Pedro. Wow.)

    SF May 4, 2007, 7:12 am
  • Yes, my memory serves me correctly:
    Pedro Martinez, on Boston disabled list (sore right shoulder) July 19 to August 3, 1999.

    SF May 4, 2007, 7:13 am
  • One last point about Daisuke’s travails and Beckett’s from last year:
    Guys were taking advantage of Beckett missing his spots and tagging fat pitches, whereas Matsuzaka is wreaking havoc on himself, without the loud bangs that follow missed spots. This is a major, if not comforting, difference. Matsuzaka’s troubles are almost entirely self-made and not the result of guys honing in and drilling his bad pitches. They aren’t good enough to hit!
    Beckett gave up 84 extra base hits in 209 innings last year (.40 per inning). Matsuzaka has given up 8 in 34 innings this year (.23 per inning). That’s not an insignificant difference.

    SF May 4, 2007, 7:22 am
  • no reason to think dm won’t work out of these recent struggles…the sox have a good pitching coach who needs to make this a priority…it’s probably mechanical and it may be the rumored pitching from the stretch angle…but what’s odd is that he’s obviously pitched with guys on base in the past, without this problem, so they’ll get it figured out…..beckett came to mind for me too sf, but i agree with you that he was getting hit much harder than dm is…i’m just thinking that beckett straightened out his issues, so why wouldn’t folks think dm can too…you have the voice of reason on this one…
    rod, i don’t blame you for being annoyed with amy…but the “choke joke” is as old as “1918”…i can accept that the yanks got beat by a team that was playing better than they were…you cheapen your team’s victory by suggesting that the yankees could’ve, should’ve won, but for their stage-fright…
    amy, your post was just downright creepy…look, most of the folks here enjoy poking at each other and even provoking the occasional pissing contest [especially when we’re bored], but you must’ve been in overdrive when you made that entry…the only part that deserves further comment is the insuation that bill maz is only in the hall of fame because of the walkoff…that’s simply not true…here’s a bit of his hof bio:
    *all star 10 times
    *gold glove 8 times
    *lifetime .983 fielding percentage
    *led the NL in assists 9 times
    *led the NL in fielding percentage 3 times
    *led the NL double plays 8 times
    *2,016 career hits
    he was converted from ss to 2B when he came to the majors at age 17, and was considered one of the best defensive 2B’s in major league history

    dc May 4, 2007, 8:57 am
  • I am ashamed to be rooting for the same team as Arny. Uggh.
    As for Daisuke, I made SF a promise I wouldn’t chime in for any Sox issues, but this topic caught my eye. Like I said the night he pitched against King Felix, Daisuke has some really impressive stuff. In addition he has a very unique way of working hitters, a way you really don’t see too much in baseball in America and that’s working the hitter backwards. There are two major problems that can arise from this plan of attack:
    1. Working from behind in the count. Breaking balls and offspeed stuff are not only more difficult to throw, but it’s more difficult to get them over for strikes. Daisuke seems to have supreme confidence in his offspeed and breaking stuff, but in order for him to be successful he needs to get ahead early in the count. In the games I saw (2) he struggled when he didn’t get strikes over early.
    2. Arm Fatigue. Not getting those breaking balls and offspeed pitches over for strikes early cause you to throw more pitches and be less effecient with your pitch count. I have heard all the stories about how he fields balls at SS prior to games, how he pitched in back to back games and so on, even with that he would have to be superhuman for this not to eventually catch up to him. I am not rooting against him by any means, I just don’t think his plan of attack can be successful long term in MLB. In order to succeed he may need to change his plan of attack.
    I say this as a baseball fan, not a Yankee fan.

    Triskaidekaphobia May 4, 2007, 9:26 am
  • Amy’s post seemed like on that would be made at 2:42 am with little thought. Oh wait it was…
    Glad she found this site and enlightened us with her baseball wisdom. Ugh..

    sam YF May 4, 2007, 9:31 am
  • I don’t think it’s ‘Amy’ but ‘Arny’ as in ‘Arnold.’
    But calling him ‘Amy’ is kinda amusing in and of itself. Carry on. :)

    Scott SF May 4, 2007, 9:33 am
  • Is her name Amy or Arny, I can’t tell???

    Triskaidekaphobia May 4, 2007, 9:33 am
  • Why is there reason to think Dice-K will bounce back like Becket? Becket pitched great for the marlins and had a hard time adapting to the A.L. Dice K has proven NOTHING so far he pitched 2 decent games to start the season ( KC minor leagers) and has been hit hard ever since. His pitches arent fooling anybody. Seattle isn’t even a good team, look how Toronto and the Yanks hit him. Wait, theres Detroit, Clev, Chi comming soon.

    Marc May 4, 2007, 9:45 am
  • Interesting thoughts, Trisk. Last night Daisuke was throwing a steady diet of fastballs, so in some ways his method was different than in previous games. He in fact seemed to be getting ahead of guys later in the game with these fastballs (my perception, I should really check the game log as I could be wrong) but was still mis-locating a bit. See the game thread: d1 asserted that every pitch was off, though d1 thinks blue skies are gray, too!

    SF May 4, 2007, 9:46 am
  • Am I the only one that thinks Arny’s post was awseome? I bet he drives an IROC and goes tanning.

    Ric May 4, 2007, 9:49 am
  • and has been hit hard ever since
    No, wrong, he isn’t getting hit hard. That’s the thing that’s odd.
    His pitches arent fooling anybody.
    Also not really accurate: he’s been ineffectively wild. When he’s not walking guys, he’s totally fooling them.
    It’s one thing to critique Daisuke (no doubt he’s worthy of analysis at this point) but it would be nice if the cliches weren’t thrown out there to do it. His year has been very odd, defying conventional wisdom.

    SF May 4, 2007, 9:50 am
  • Some say the control problems Matsuzaka and Igawa are experiencing could be due to adjusting to mlb ball. Does anyone know what kind of ball was used in the wbc?
    Just curious

    Andrews May 4, 2007, 10:08 am
  • “to mlb ball” should read to THE mlb ball, sorry

    Andrews May 4, 2007, 10:09 am
  • Where are all these trolls coming from?
    “See the game thread: d1 asserted that every pitch was off, though d1 thinks blue skies are gray, too!”
    Boooo…heh. After the first and before the fifth he looked pretty good, save a pair of bad pitches to Ichiro and Vidro that he got away with. He still wasn’t AS spot-on as he was against NY the last time out (in every inning but the fourth) or Toronto (ditto…though I can’t remember if it was the fourth) or KC. One thing, though…seemed to me like he lived almost entirely on his fastball(s), I’m assuming he wasn’t throwing the same kind over and over, but there definitely weren’t very many changeups or breaking pitches going over for strikes.
    Matsuzaka keeps insisting it’s not the ball’s fault, though I’m pretty sure he’s going to accept full responsibility for absolutely everything he does no matter what. Remember when Matsui apologized for breaking his wrist? Similar mindset; no excuses. Farrell says he loses his arm slot for an inning and then finally rediscovers it. I definitely buy into the ‘from the stretch’ theory now, because it’s getting to the point where that’s the only thing that makes sense from a mechanical PoV. The first walk to Ichiro last night was a bit wild, but he also got squeezed a little bit. After that…eesh.

    desturbd1 May 4, 2007, 10:14 am
  • from the Globe, re: differences in the balls –
    a website devoted to all things Daisuke — Matsuzaka Watch (matsuzaka.blogspot.com) — cited a television program broadcast by NHK last week in which an astrophysicist showed on tape how the difference in the baseball, especially the more slippery surface of the MLB ball, was affecting the rotation of Matsuzaka’s slider.
    Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell said neither Matsuzaka nor Japanese teammate Hideki Okajima has complained about the ball affecting his ability to throw the pitches he wants.
    “I think we acknowledge there are differences in the ball,” Farrell said. “There’s no doubt about it. The actual size [the Japanese ball is slightly smaller]. Here, the seams are higher than the ball in Japan. The texture, I think, has a lot to do with how the ball is prepared for the game, how it’s rubbed up.
    “As far as actually affecting his slider, I can’t say that is a definite reason. In his previous start here, he was opening up early, compared to the game in Kansas City. That will make the break a little longer, not as sharp and as powerful as he showed in Kansas City and at times in spring training. I wouldn’t attribute that to the ball.”
    Farrell said he never has actually seen the Japanese ball. “I wish I could tell you I have, but I haven’t,” he said. “They rub it up with a fine sand, vs. the mud here, so there’s no residue left after they rubbed it. You know, we’ve got that kind of film on there. They do import cowhide for baseballs — I don’t know if it’s from the States or where it comes from, but the sand and mud make a difference.”

    SF May 4, 2007, 10:21 am
  • Wow, the Sox’ star pitcher has a bad game, and the trolls come a-calling, don’t they?
    The Japanese ball has generally beend escribed as slightly softer and rubbed up differently, so that it’s easier to grip/control. Seeing as how Matsuzaka is having control problems, this would make sense — except for the fact that he’s only having control problems with men on base (although they usually get there via walk, but you know what I mean). So, like everything in life, I’m guessing it’s some sort of combination of the new ball, the new umps, pitching from the stretch, and the strange gravitational force exerted by Pluto on Neptune.

    Paul SF May 4, 2007, 10:36 am
  • It is starting to look like I was wrong.
    Jacoby Ellsbury has been promoted to P’tucket. He is expected to start in CF tonight for the Pawsox.
    I smell the future.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 4, 2007, 11:24 am
  • I know it’s because of Pawtucket’s lousy offense — and Ellsbury’s fast start in AA — but I can’t help wonder if Crisp might find himself elsewhere soon — Oakland for Haren? Colorado for Helton? Get those rumor mills started!

    Paul SF May 4, 2007, 11:30 am
  • And Amy or Arny or whoever the hell you are:
    Everything you said, facts, opinions, all, has been stated here and abroad ad nauseum.
    It’s an old, tired argument. Been there, done that, as they say.
    You obviously are more than welcome to participate in these threads. But, please, be timely, be topical, and for God’s sake, BE ORIGINAL!!!

    I'm Bill McNeal May 4, 2007, 11:33 am
  • Jacoby was hitting .452 in Portland.
    I’ve had a man crush on him since he was drafted.
    And today is pre-Derby Day (Kentucky Oaks, I belive.)
    And a friend of mine was named an associate judge yesterday.
    And Manny hit two homers yesterday.
    I’m a happy guy right now.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 4, 2007, 11:37 am
  • “I smell the future.”
    Carl Pavano to see Dr Andrews –
    I smell the pasture. :)

    Andrews May 4, 2007, 11:50 am
  • “Farrell said he never has actually seen the Japanese ball. “I wish I could tell you I have, but I haven’t,” he said.”
    Given the amount of money invested, wouldn’t it be a good idea for the red sox (and the yanks, too, if applicable) to order some japanese baseballs so the pitching coach could find out first hand the differences?

    Andrews May 4, 2007, 12:36 pm
  • “His pitches arent fooling anybody.”
    Except for Arod and Abreu, apparently. 1-12, 7Ks, 1 HBP, 1 BB.
    I like the Beckett comparison insofar as he’s an example of someone who was pitching poorly but managed to turn it around. I was actually more worried about Beckett since he was getting shelled. Dice-K is having control/command issues, which I feel he’ll be able to work through. I wonder how much contact if any Farrell has with Dice-K’s old pitching coach?

    Tyrel SF May 4, 2007, 1:33 pm
  • Andrews…yes, my thoughts exactly…nobody thought about this?
    I’m really not worried about Matsuzaka, though. Adjustments have to be made obviously, but he obviously has nice stuff when he can throw it over the plate. I don’t understand why this once-or-twice-a-game devolution keeps happening, but I have faith it won’t be that way forever.

    Devine May 4, 2007, 2:23 pm
  • Arny forget to close his post with “COWNT TEH RINNGZ!!!@!”

    Hudson May 4, 2007, 2:52 pm
  • Andrews,
    Re: Ellsbury. If he was a NYY prospect, you’d be just as excited. I haven’t been as excited about a minor leaguer since Nomar. (I know you’re having fun.)
    Re: the baseballs. Agreed. Good point. On the other hand, we’re learning.

    I'm Bill McNeal May 4, 2007, 2:56 pm
  • Back on topic… My concerns about DiceK are (a) that his one-inning control problem doesn’t seem to be isolated to a single instance, but rather is a recurring thing; and (b) it appears to have a Knoblochesque mental component.

    Hudson May 4, 2007, 2:56 pm
  • Hudson,
    I’m not sure how Knoblochesque (kudos on the term) it is, though Steve Sax might want credit for it. (East Coast bias? :) )
    I think he gets upset with himself. It’s not a mental block so much as frustration. I pitched like that in Little League. They could bring me in with the bases loaded and no outs, and I’d pitch a WHOLE lot better and with less fear than when I had put myself in a bases loaded with TWO outs. He gets frustrated, beats himself up about it, and can’t focus. Or at least that’s my theory.
    Knoblauch, IIRC, was overthinking every throw, and I think Daisuke just gets pissed at himself.

    QuoSF May 4, 2007, 3:14 pm
  • And back off-topic: I can’t resist sharing this suggestion from a fan in today’s Edes mailbag:

    Your Q&A session today (May 1) brought up the horrible possibility that Barry Bonds just might equal Aaron’s home runs … note I did NOT say set the record … when the Giants come to town. That most historic of records in that most historic of parks. Here is what I would do and I hope you think its worthy of throwing out to RSN and indeed all baseball fans everywhere: If I were at Fenway that series I’d carry a felt tipped marker with me. And if I caught THAT BALL, I’d write BALCO on it in big, indelible letters and throw it back. A worthless record is worth a worthless ball. Here’s a chance for all real fans of the game to make a statement about what baseball has become — a game tainted by cheaters. The game I grew up with and love and the players I respect for their accomplishments. Yaz, Mantle, Maris, Jackson, Ortiz and even, yes, E-Rod, have no taint of scandle about them. So why should we let Bonds and some lucky palooka in the stands make mega-bucks off of despoiling our sport?

    Hudson May 4, 2007, 3:14 pm
  • Paul,
    Don’t count WMP out of the mix. I understand he might/could/is supposed to be, the replacement for Manny eventually. But if we can get something better for him, Crisp makes a mighty fine 4th OF and security blanket.

    QuoSF May 4, 2007, 3:16 pm
  • “But if we can get something better for him, Crisp makes a mighty fine 4th OF and security blanket.”
    Hell, Ellsbury is a lefty, and Coco’s splits are about even. Might behoove us to break the kid in with something like a platoon for half a season or so; make them both fight for their playing time. Unless a bunch of guys get hurt, I still don’t think he’ll see any real time in Boston this season…but I suppose if he keeps hitting (close) to like this in AAA and Coco struggles mightily, we might.
    PS: Lets not write his AA numbers this season off as a fast start, with Pawtucket’s offensive struggles pulling him up early. In 198 AA ab’s last season–his first full year with wooden bats–the kid batted .308/.387/.434, with 10 doubles, 3 triples, 3 homers, and a 25/24 K/BB. He’s made a jump in every way this year, but it’s been especially pronounced in terms of his basestealing ability: he was only 16/24 in AA last year, but 8/1 already this season.

    desturbd1 May 4, 2007, 3:28 pm
  • Ahh, that basestealing thing was messed up; he stole successfully 16 out of 24 times last year, and is 8 of 9 this year.

    desturbd1 May 4, 2007, 3:29 pm
  • I’m not sure we should place any of the “blame” on Pawtucket’s early offensive struggles. The point of a farm system is not to win titles, it’s to develop players for the ML team. Ellsbury was just playing too well to ignore and leave at AA any longer.

    QuoSF May 4, 2007, 3:34 pm
  • my appologies. as you can see my post in retort to amy was done in drunken anger. the 2:45 PST should indicate as such. today my head is paying the price.

    sf rod May 4, 2007, 3:51 pm
  • Huh…Brandon Moss is off to a pretty damn impressive start himself. He’s making a bid to really jump back into top-prospect status; he’s 24, this September, so there’s still time for him to emerge. If I remember correctly, he struggled in the early going with Portland last year before finishing strong. In Pawtucket now, he’s got himself a .314/.410/.605 line with 7 2B and 6 HR’s to go along with a respectable 22/13 K/BB.
    Too early to get particularly excited about him, and it could just be a hot start…but if this is legit, we’ve got ourselves a real corner OF prospect on our hands to go along with Ellsbury in CF. Hell…maybe he’ll mash enough for them to try him at first base at some point, since Lars Anderson’s pretty far off anyway.

    desturbd1 May 4, 2007, 3:53 pm
  • Amy/Arny’s post(s) could itself only be explained by inebriation.
    d1, that’s actually a great idea, Moss at 1B. I’ve heard at least decent things about him on defense, so he might be able to adapt fairly well.
    Lars, in his first professional season for Kapler’s Drive (like Jeter’s Drive, only not embarassing), has a .798 OPS over 26 games at age 19. Not enough to get terribly excited about, but a 19 year old in his first season with wooden bats who seems to be adjusting.

    Anonymous May 4, 2007, 4:01 pm
  • Anon was me.

    QuoSF May 4, 2007, 4:02 pm
  • And crap. Jeter’s Driven. Either way, embarassing.

    QuoSF May 4, 2007, 4:03 pm
  • With Murphy thrown in the mix, the Sox seem to have a glut of young outfielders — Crisp, Pena, Murphy, Moss, Ellsbury. Drew’s around for a while, and Pena is supposed to be Manny’s power replacement. That leaves four guys for center field. It seems at least one or two need to be involved in a trade. I still keep thinking about the Pena/Buccholz for Harden trade…
    I agree that if we can get Moss with some power, putting him at first and moving Youks over would nicely fill the 3B hole…

    Paul SF May 4, 2007, 4:42 pm
  • “I’ve heard at least decent things about him on defense, so he might be able to adapt fairly well.”
    That’s the thing…looking at his soxprospects.com profile, it sounds like he was drafted in large part because he’s got a cannon for an arm and plays strong defense; he didn’t do much with the bat at first before working his ass off before 2004 and really breaking out. Then, two more years of not really doing much to improve…and so far, he’s off to a great start in Pawtucket in 2007.
    My point…Moss is supposed to be a great corner OF. Say he keeps up his current pace and impresses in a spring callup. Say, in this ideal world, he hits so well that the Sox become convinced they need to find a place for him in the lineup in 2008. Just had another thought…rather then move a 23-year-old plus-defending corner-OF to first base this early in his career…why not have Drew try making the switch to 1st?
    Drew still plays a great, rangy RF according to both Pinto’s PBR and THT’s Zone Rating. But his arm doesn’t look particularly strong anymore, and if Moss is capable of the same level of defense–stronger if his arm is really plus–why not try the older, more fragile Drew in a less strenuous position?
    Then, boom. Less OF clutter and our most fragile player handling the safest spot on the field. Crisp or Pena become expendable and 2/3 of our OF is under 25.
    (PS: I realize it’s May and that in a month, Moss could look like sh*t again. Just throwing around best-case-scenario ideas)

    desturbd1 May 4, 2007, 4:58 pm
  • d1, premature as you already said, it’s a great idea if Moss keeps hitting. I wonder how keen Drew would be about it, but it seems the best option if Moss keeps hitting and it doesn’t seem like a fluke.
    Drew’s athletic enough to make a GREAT, GG quality 1B (which you and I and most here realize doesn’t mean a whole whole lot), but it could make some sense.

    QuoSF May 4, 2007, 5:03 pm
  • Bill, I wasn’t ripping Ellsbury-sorry if it came across that way. I was ripping Pavano.

    Andrews May 4, 2007, 7:08 pm
  • Re: Matsuzaka’s troubles with the stretch – I heard Bradford on ‘eei today saying something like Mr. Matsu was timed in the windup at 1.8 seconds to the plate, and 1.1 seconds from the stretch, suggesting, as Farrel has said, that with men on base Mr. Matsu is rushing his delivery too much.
    I think if he can slow it down just enough to regain his control, without putting up the greenlight for SBs, he’ll be a-ok.
    Anecdotal, I know – but watching last night’s game, it seemed that with men on base, he threw FBs almost exclusively. When he’s been most effective, he’s thrown first-pitch breaking balls or change-ups, and he seems too worried about baserunners to do that when there are men on base.

    Zulu.as.SF May 4, 2007, 8:49 pm

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