Just a Bit Outside: Sox-A’s Postmortem

In a full-page, poster-sized message to his fans, Daisuke Matsuzaka this morning wrote in English a note accompanying his picture in Sankei Sports — "World Series repeat. Cy Young Award. Boston Red Sox."

One of those is one step closer to fruition; the other is decidedly undecided.

As noted in the game thread, thank goodness these were the Oakland Athletics, a rebuilding AAAA club who offered at bad pitches, overran second to kill a rally, and had no answer for two Red Sox hitters at arguably the opposite ends of the fear spectrum — Manny Ramirez and Brandon Moss. If it had been the New York Yankees, I seriously doubt Matsuzaka would have even had the opportunity to turn his start around and improbably be in line for the win.

Hey, it’s just one game — nearly historic, sure (in the last 52 Opening Day starts, just two Sox pitchers walked more than Matsuzaka’s five) — and there was plenty to build on. Sure, Matsuzaka is one of just six Red Sox Opening Day starters since 1956 to walk five batters, but he’s also one of just 14 to strike out at least six.

Still, Snyder isn’t in a position to blow the game if Matsuzaka does his job in any kind of a reasonably efficient manner. Perhaps it was just homecoming jitters; maybe it was just a tough time getting a feel for his off-speed stuff. In any case, the Sox are depending on better outings than that — because not every opponent will be the Oakland A’s.

17 comments… add one
  • does matsuzaka usually start off slowly?
    i saw his 1st 2 starts at fenway last season. the first game i remember more of felix hernandez’s 1 hitter, and the second outing was a rocky (5-run?) 1st, also against the mariners, but i think he settled down and the sox won it. (manny’s 8th inning HR and ortiz’s hug of the 2B when he was doubled up.)
    i’d give both teams a pass for their performances in these 2 games. these early japan games must be a little strange.

    Yankee Fan In Boston March 25, 2008, 2:02 pm
  • actually, that 2nd game was later in the season. scratch that.
    but i can’t find a breakdown of his starts by month. any help?

    Yankee Fan In Boston March 25, 2008, 2:07 pm
  • I can’t seem to shake the idea that his first start was against KC in KC, but no matter, those first couple were against some bad teams.
    I chalk this up to his nerves because as time went on, he was awesome later in the game.
    It can’t be easy on the nerves to go back to your home country to play, when no doubt the expectations are very, very high.

    Brad.. March 25, 2008, 2:13 pm
  • YFIB, baseball-reference.com breaks down starts by month under gamelogs.

    Andrew F (Sox Fan) March 25, 2008, 2:21 pm
  • thanks, andrew. i knew they had that stuff tucked away someplace, but i couldn’t remember how to get my hands on it. much obliged.
    i’m still getting up to speed before opening day for the rest of us.

    Yankee Fan In Boston March 25, 2008, 2:28 pm
  • DiceK has sweet hopes.
    for him though, I would be shocked.
    Cy Young is a stretch.

    no sleep til brooklyn sf March 25, 2008, 2:44 pm
  • Nice, NSTB.
    Matsuzaka was excellent in his debut last year — one of the best debuts ever, actually.
    To toot my own horn, I was there, and wrote this about it: http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/2007/04/matsuzaka_mania.html

    Paul SF March 25, 2008, 2:52 pm
  • Oh man, I remember that post well Paul, mostly because I was thinking…
    “How did such a geek end up with such an attractive wife?!?!” ;-)

    LocklandSF March 25, 2008, 3:51 pm
  • Haha, I think that every day, Lockland.

    Paul SF March 25, 2008, 5:06 pm
  • Phew…. The second I posted that, I was really worried you were going to take it the wrong way, or a couple of different wrong ways!

    LocklandSF March 25, 2008, 7:04 pm
  • Ramirez was presented with an oversized check for 1,000,000 yen (about $10,000) for being MVP of the game and smiled as he held it up on a stage placed near the mound. He also gets a color laser printer
    This is hysterical to me for some reason. How long until the copier shows up on Ebay?

    SF March 25, 2008, 7:45 pm
  • Maybe it’s because all I do these days is print out my resume, but I find this hilarious as well. I’m just imagining Manny next off-season updating his resume, using the laser printer. I’m probably not being very intelligent here, but I think baseball players are the last people in the world who need laser printers.

    Nick-YF March 25, 2008, 8:02 pm
  • “How long until the copier shows up on Ebay?”
    HAHAHAH. That would be Manny being Manny, no doubt.

    Pat (SF) March 25, 2008, 10:35 pm
  • Manny eBaying Manny obligatory link reference, a must read.

    attackgerbil March 26, 2008, 2:26 am
  • I have a hilarious image of Manny trying to install the printer, getting frustrated, and then pouting in the corner until his wife brings him a bowl of icecream.

    Atheose March 26, 2008, 9:59 am
  • By the way AG, the most recent Dugout shows Manny holding up the check for 1 million Yen, and it says “Poor Manny. I’m almost positive he thinks that check is for a million gummy bears.”

    Atheose March 26, 2008, 10:32 am
  • Nick, job hunt? What’s your business? Maybe the community can help.

    LocklandSF March 26, 2008, 12:23 pm

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