Unable to watch the game, I could only follow along on the ESPN Bottom Line during poker night. With the Sox up 1-0 when I left, it was indeed frustrating to see them lose 2-1 — particularly to Gustavo Chacin. Again.
- Chacin vs. BOS: 6-0, 3.83 ERA.
- Chacin vs. ALL: 25-14, 4.02 ERA
- Chacin vs. ALL except BOS: 19-14, 4.05 ERA
The aggravating thing is that Chacin’s peripherals aren’t particularly good against Boston. He’s walked more than he’s struck out; his WHIP is an unspectacular 1.48. At Fenway, his ERA approaches 5.50. Yet he has two wins there and six wins overall against the Sox in eight starts.
On the other hand, Daisuke Matsuzaka can’t seem to catch a break. If he continues to pitch the way he’s been pitching, though, he’ll win 20 games without much of a problem. He has more strikeouts (24) than baserunners allowed (22), and he’s second in the league in both strikeouts and K/9. He’s also in the top 10 in K/BB ratio. Granted, his 162-game average has him going 11-22, but I’ll take the 272 Ks and 56 walks.
Also, the Herald runs a completely useless story about Matsuzaka allegedly having trouble pitching out of the stretch. While that might have been true last night (though one inch on three different plays in the fourth is the difference between even having this discussion or not), the Herald doesn’t bother to check exactly how Matsuzaka’s done when pitching from the stretch.
Even when accounting for last night, when he walked three and allowed a hit with men on, Matsuzaka allows a .217/.345/.304 line with runners on base. Compare that to when the bases are empty: .240/.255/.340. In other words, he actually allows fewer hits, and those he does allow go for fewer bases, when he’s (presumably) pitching out of the stretch, though he does walk more (five walks to zero — though, again, three of those came last night). It just seems like the Herald is jumping the gun on finding ways in which Matsuzaka might be vulnerable. At the very least, they could have found the data online in five minutes and tried to analyze it.