Homonymin’: Sox-Orioles Gamer XVII

In an interesting occurence, the Sox started Jon Lester last night and tonight for the Orioles it’s someone named Jon Leicester on the hill.  Tonight we see Daisuke Matsuzaka for the Sox, will the Orioles throw out somone named Deyesekay Mottsoosocka tomorrow?

Though we didn’t catch the contest yesterday, we know the results and read about the game: it was good to see the Sox pitching continue to shut down the opposition, and it was also good to hear JD Drew excelled in the field and at the plate: we’ve not disguised the fact that we are rooting for the guy and refuse to jump off the bandwagon, no matter how ugly the results.  The Sox need this guy to produce in order to go deep during the postseason, particularly if Manny isn’t 100%.  We also heard that Daniel Cabrera lost it last night, revealing himself as a Yankees fan in Orioles’ clothing, throwing at our beloved second baseman.  Funny thing: I was typing in Pedroia’s name on my spanky new iPhone, and for some reason the spell-check function corrected "Pedroia" to "Pestroia".  No joke.  I think someone in programming at Apple may root for the Bombers.  Anyhow, it should be interesting to see if Pedroia’s head attracts any pitches tonight, considering he said after the game that Cabrera is an "idiot" and "stinks" as a pitcher.

(Aside: though potentially accurate based on last night’s efforts from Cabrera, Dustin’s comments are certainly inadvisable and impolitic: someone get that lovable shrimp a muzzle, he’s gonna get a teammate or himself killed at some point!)

Consider this your thread for tonight’s action from Fenway South.  Go Sox!!

127 comments… add one
  • Logged in just in time for Papi’s 2-run dinger… Nice.
    Take that, Lesterganger.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:11 pm
  • Both Lowell and Youks got a ton of wood on their pitches, but the O’s escaped both thanks to some nice fielding plays. Top of the 1st over, 2-0 Sox.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:13 pm
  • Matsuzaka gives one run right back on Tike Redman’s first homer. 2-1 Sox through 1. More runs, please!

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 7:23 pm
  • Oof, after a flyout DiceK gives one right back, a solo shot by Redman. 2-1 Sox.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:23 pm
  • Jinx, Paul.
    DiceK gets out of the inning, but is not sharp so far… Let’s hope that’s his big “bad inning” for this game.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:24 pm
  • JD making me proud…

    SF September 8, 2007, 7:26 pm
  • Drew leads off with a double.
    Golemlester seems very hittable.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:26 pm
  • Drew with the leadoff double. Maybe getting hot at the right time?
    Varitek continues a horrific second half, striking out swinging.

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 7:28 pm
  • Very hittable, but Tek Ks. One out.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:29 pm
  • Crisp grounds out, moving Drew to 3rd, but now there are two outs.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:29 pm
  • Come on, Lugo! Add to that RBI total!

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 7:30 pm
  • Boy, Cabrera must really be a clubhouse cancer, because his manager and team seem to have completely thrown him under the bus for last night.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:31 pm
  • Tek = bread, put in an appliance.

    SF September 8, 2007, 7:31 pm
  • Leichechesester backs Lugo off the plate, up and in.

    SF September 8, 2007, 7:32 pm
  • Lugo hits the dirt on a fastball.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:32 pm
  • LU-LU-GO-GO!
    Double for Julio. The free agent signings shine…

    SF September 8, 2007, 7:32 pm
  • LUGO! He gets JD home with a double, 3-0 Sox… Eggggsellent.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:33 pm
  • I think the only logical explanation is they read my post this morning and realized they needed to step up their game…

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 7:33 pm
  • JACOBY! 4-1 on the ribbie single.

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 7:34 pm
  • JACOBY! Double brings Lugo in, 4-0 Sox.
    Very hittable indeed.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:34 pm
  • Huhh, Gameday says single but WRKO says he’s standing on 2nd (no video for me tonight).

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:35 pm
  • In any case, DPed flies out to end the (productive) inning.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:36 pm
  • I think the only logical explanation is they read my post this morning and realized they needed to step up their game…
    I think it was that JD was surfing our blog during the pre-game smorgasbord and was inspired by my faith in him. Also, Lugo saw that I complimented him and that he had been supplanted by the now-Nat WMP as my LFRS. It’s all about the mindgames, Paul, played by us bloggers.

    SF September 8, 2007, 7:36 pm
  • Dice-Ks Huff.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:40 pm
  • Payton out 3 unassisted.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:42 pm
  • Yes, SF, and also remember that Clay Buccholz only threw a no-hitter because we didn’t jinx him.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:44 pm
  • 2nd inning over, clean inning for DMat.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:44 pm
  • (In fact, I now realize that the lack of a gamer for the no-hitter was stroke of pure genius by our front-pagers to make sure that Clay made history.)

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:45 pm
  • Papi with the leadoff double.
    That’s Boston’s 3rd double of the night, and 4th extra-base hit, offset by just six outs.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:47 pm
  • “Lesterganger”
    Funny.

    Tom sf September 8, 2007, 7:48 pm
  • Mike walks, 1st and 2nd, none out for Kevin.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:49 pm
  • (Sorry, it’s 4-1 Sox, obviously, though I said 4-0 above.)
    Youks lines out to center.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:50 pm
  • JDre swings at the first pitch and also flies out to center. Papi tags and goes to third, but with 2 outs another fly ball won’t help.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:51 pm
  • I hafta say I was pretty surprised Pedroia went as far as he did in his post-game comments. I guess he was pretty fired up. I’d be pissed too if someone had thrown gas right at my head.
    Of course, he’s right when he says Cabrera “sucks.” 10 or more losses in three straight seasons, with an ERA that has gone up each year. Since 2005, Cabrera is tied for third with the most losses (38 — tied with Jason Marquis and Greg Maddux, heh). And since he has a 4.81 ERA in that span, it’s hard to say he doesn’t deserve them.
    Comparing pitchers with similar numbers of games started over that span, Cabrera’s ERA is in the company of Wandy Rodriguez, Vicente Padilla, Rodrigo Lopez, Josh Fogg, Jeff Weaver, Claudio Vargas and Jason Marquis (all above 4.75).
    His problem seems to be control (of the baseball, as well as of his own emotions). No one in that group strikes out nearly as many batters as he does — or walks nearly as many. His .242 BAA is fifth among all pitchers with 80 starts in that span — behind Beckett, Chris Young, Oswalt and Santana, but his ,351 OBPA is among the worst. He also limits slugging pretty well. He somehow has managed to hold hitters to an OPS+ below league average. So maybe he dosn’t suck as bad as we all think. He might just be unlucky and giving up hits at all the wrong times.

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 7:52 pm
  • Tek Ks again, stranding two more runners.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 7:54 pm
  • Ugh, Varitek. .234 and dropping in the second half. How do you get to 3-0, then strike out swinging on three pitches?

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 7:54 pm
  • * Molina singles.
    * Roberts doubles.
    2nd and 3rd, still no outs.
    Jeezzusss, this guy has been getting great run support lately, and giving back almost as readily. Gotta work out of this one, DiceK.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:02 pm
  • Ohh crap. Bases loaded, none out, Markakis-Tejada-Millar due up. Honestly, can we just have a nice clean game without a meltdown inning from Daisuke?

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 8:05 pm
  • DM walks the bases full, and still hasn’t retired a batter in the 3rd. Markakis batting.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:05 pm
  • I really don’t feel like watching this train wreck.

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 8:08 pm
  • DiceK goes up 1-2 to Markakis… … … … … … … … … … … … … 2-2 … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … 3-2, oh SWELL … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … BALL, he walks in a run, 4-2 Sox.
    GAHH!

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:08 pm
  • Twice now he’s gone 1-2 to a batter then trhown three straight balls that didn’t even look close on GameDay…
    And why did GameDay remove their strike zone box? Afraid they were showing up the umps?

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 8:09 pm
  • dice-k = bread, put in an appliance.

    sf rod September 8, 2007, 8:09 pm
  • I was about to post, “Fer chrissakes, DiceK, at least make them hit the ball and earn their runs,” but then Tejada got a single, bringing home Roberts.
    *sigh*
    4-3 Sox bases still loaded, no outs. WTF?

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:10 pm
  • Walked in the house to the middle of the bases loaded walk.
    Maybe we need to let Dice skip a start to get some rest.

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:12 pm
  • Time to yank him. Tavarez needs to come in and get this inning over.

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:14 pm
  • Millar at bat:
    – Ball
    – Ball
    – Called strike
    – [The Orc is warming…]
    – Foul
    – Ball
    – [Warm faster, Orc, warm!]
    – Ball, close call
    Millah walks, run comes in, UGHHHLY.
    Tie game, 4-4.
    DiceK pitch count up to 61.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:14 pm
  • Unbelievable. This might be the worst of all the metldown innings. Three walks and three hits, still no outs.
    Why is he still in the game?

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 8:15 pm
  • OK, here’s a question:
    If the playoffs started tomorrow, what should the Sox rotation be?

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:15 pm
  • So, the way Dice is pitching, anyone trust him with a playoff start?
    Jeez, what a horrific effort.

    SF September 8, 2007, 8:15 pm
  • I thought that ball just got slammed.

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:15 pm
  • You read my mind, Hud.
    Dice looks just terrible. Why is he STILL PITCHING?!

    SF September 8, 2007, 8:16 pm
  • Huff misses a grand salami by just a little.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:16 pm
  • And then Huff Ks. FINALLY an out.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:16 pm
  • I’m not sure yet SF, I think the guy does need a skipped start to rest him. A lot of those high pitch count games seem to have given him a tired arm.

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:16 pm
  • please stop the bleeding!!!

    Anonymous September 8, 2007, 8:17 pm
  • Hell, I’d start Wakes or even Buchholz in the 3rd spot right now. And Schilling hasn’t exactly been stellar since he returned.
    Worrisome.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:17 pm
  • Payton offers a much-needed pop-up. One to go.
    No nails left on left hand, moving on to the right…

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:18 pm
  • Just… wow.

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 8:20 pm
  • 42 pitches this inning.
    The sad thing I honestly thought that Crisp was going to get that.
    1st hit as an Oriole is a grand slam.

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:20 pm
  • Moore’s at-bat:
    – Ball
    – Ball
    – Strike, called
    – [Orc, are ye warm yet?]
    – Strike, swinging
    – GRAND SLAM
    8-4 Orioles, 7 run inning.
    72 horrible pitches for Mr. Matsuzaka, who is coming out NONE TOO SOON.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:20 pm
  • What in the hell is wrong with dice-K? How sad that I am relieved to see Tavarez.

    rootbeerfloat September 8, 2007, 8:21 pm
  • Scott Moore. 0 for 13 on the season. Now 1 for 14 with a freaking grand slam.

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 8:21 pm
  • At least the bases are clear for Tavarez.

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:21 pm
  • That was Moore’s 14th at-bat of the season, by the way. Grrrrrrr.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:21 pm
  • If anyone could have gotten it, it would have been Crisp….

    rootbeerfloat September 8, 2007, 8:22 pm
  • Well, that inning is on Dice, with a MASSIVE assist to Tito for the slow hook. What a joke. Who watching this game didn’t know that Matsuzaka had jack shit? What was the point, to boost his confidence, to let him work out of a jam, or to bury the guy’s psyche? Because Tito just took a hammer to Matsuzaka’s emotional state.
    Thanks, Terry, you stupid narcoleptic.

    SF September 8, 2007, 8:22 pm
  • Matsuzaka shouldn’t have even been in there at that point. Any other pitcher and he’s gone after giving up the FIRST three runs with the bases loaded.
    NOW I’m concerned. Very concerned. I don’t want him facing the Indians or Angels if this is what he’s doing against the dregs of the AL East.

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 8:23 pm
  • I’m still wondering what Tavarez was out there saying to Cabrera last night.
    (“Now, if you’re planning on throwing a punch, take it from me, use your glove hand…”)

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:23 pm
  • What was DiceK’s ERA before the game before this one?

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:23 pm
  • Would the nation of Japan be terribly offended if we juggled our postseason rotation a bit?

    FenSheaParkway September 8, 2007, 8:25 pm
  • I’m with ya, SF. Someone check Tito’s jersey for a line of tobacco drool down the front.
    – – – –
    Tavarez Ks Molina.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:25 pm
  • His ERA was 4.11 before the game, 4.44 now.

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:26 pm
  • Yankees up 4-2, Detroit and Seattle tied at 4.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:26 pm
  • Hs ERA was 3.76 after giving up 2 runs in six innings in the hard-luck loss to Tampa, Hudson. Three starts later, he’s at 4.44. He’s gained enarly a full run in ERA since his last start against Baltimore, Aug. 10.

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 8:26 pm
  • Ok, time to watch the US Open women’s final, screw this catastrophe of a game – at least it only counts for one in the standings.
    I honestly want to know what Tito and was thinking, or if his tiny walnut of a brain was even functioning tonight.

    SF September 8, 2007, 8:27 pm
  • Thanks, Rob… But what was his ERA before the previous debacle?
    My point being that DiceK’s been charged with, what, 13 runs in his past two outings? Or was there a start in between? It’s all a horrible blur.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:27 pm
  • um…well….there’s a lot of baseball left to be played…..i guess.

    sf rod September 8, 2007, 8:27 pm
  • Oop, Paul’s got the info, thanks.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:28 pm
  • As bad as DM was tonight, the Sox could easily bring this one back, with the unLester on the mound, and the Oriole pen… I’m not giving up on it yet.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:29 pm
  • Sorry Paul, misread your question.

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:29 pm
  • 3.59 after that start, for all intents and purposes his lowest of the season. Since then, 1-3 (1-4?) with a 9.57 ERA.

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 8:29 pm
  • Crisp runs the count full, but grounds out to first.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:30 pm
  • I have had very little to complain about with Francona this season, he’s clearly done a fine job. I don’t want anyone (particularly YFs) to accuse me of calling for his head or anything like that. But I honestly have no idea what the f*ck goes through his head during a stretch like that. After four straight guys I get someone up, after five I visit the mound and slow things down, and after six that should be it. What’s the point with extended rosters and a game still tied in potentially wrecking a guy’s head for the near term, with the playoffs approaching? Why not get him out, keep him from getting destroyed, and save his arm a little?

    SF September 8, 2007, 8:30 pm
  • Lugo flies out, first pitch swinging.
    Come on, guys, get some back, chip away.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:30 pm
  • Hudson, I think this is where the unLester magically figures out the Sox offense and they go like sheep the rest of the night.

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 8:31 pm
  • >>>Why not get him out, keep him from getting destroyed, and save his arm a little?
    Not to mention keeping your team in the game, with a smaller margin to make up…

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:31 pm
  • Completely agree, SF. No reason for any starter to be facing the seventh batter of the inning with no outs, three men on and three runs already home.
    I’d love to hear what possible reason there could be.

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 8:32 pm
  • 3-2 to Jacoby… … … and he flies out to left. The Sox go quickly.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:32 pm
  • >>>No reason for any starter to be facing the seventh batter of the inning with no outs, three men on and three runs already home.
    Especially with all the walks and DiceK showing no ability to control his pitches. A grand slam was almost assured, as he was bound to get desperate and groove one down the middle.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:34 pm
  • Francona’s usual reason, whether tacit or stated overtly, is “showing faith” in his players.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:34 pm
  • EXPANDED ROSTERS, too! Francona at his worst tonight, considering how Matsuzaka has been pitching and his career history of shorter seasons, six-days-between-starts, and his recent work. If ever a manager should be saving a player, tonight was it, and Francona threw Daisuke a fucking anvil instead of a life preserver. Abominable.

    SF September 8, 2007, 8:35 pm
  • Well, whatever paltry Rookie of the Year chances DiceK still had are now officially gone.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:36 pm
  • Matsuzaka gives up 7 runs in a inning. This is even worse than his last outing.
    Is it time to start the “What’s the problem with Dice-K” questions yet?

    SoxFan September 8, 2007, 8:36 pm
  • Julian goes 3-2 to Roberts… … and he singles.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:37 pm
  • So, Beckett-Schilling-Wake-Buchholz, with Lester and Tavarez in long relief, is the playoff rotation I have the most faith in right now.

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 8:37 pm
  • SoxFan: The answer to your question is a big Yes.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:38 pm
  • Lugo throws the ball away…the wheel s have completely fallen off.

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:38 pm
  • Tek is looking for the ball right at his feet, like a grandma looking for her glases, finds it, but not in time to get Roberts.
    Now Lugo’s throw goes past Youks, and Roberts scores.
    9-4 O’s, wheels have come off completely.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:39 pm
  • Red Sox: “See, we can all f*ck up as bad as Daisuke. Watch us!”

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 8:39 pm
  • We are getting slapped around now like Tina in “What’s love got to do with it.”

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:40 pm
  • Is this really the best team in baseball? Because this a f*cking joke. I’m out. I have better things to do…

    Paul SF September 8, 2007, 8:41 pm
  • Aaaand just when you thought it couldn’t get any uglier, he Orc gives up a 2-run shot to Markakis.
    Time to go take a long bath.
    Memo to Terry: Instead of doing your usual “let’s have all the big guys rest on Sunday,” how about subbing all the call-ups NOW so we have a chance of winning tomorrow?

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:41 pm
  • Just give Daisuke two weeks off, pray that the Yankees don’t win like 12 in a row, and give the boy some rest. He’s a damn good pitcher, but he’s clearly gassed. That was predicted by a lot of people, I just don’t understand why the Sox haven’t done anything about it, skipping a start here and there. Their division lead has generally been large enough to have afforded them that luxury.
    But now they have a problem, the lead may be down to five after tonight, they play the Yankees three times next week, and the team is hurt and tired: their best slugger is out, their ace setup man is fatigued and the backup plan for that guy has shoulder issues, and their #3 starter looking cooked. Pretty bad timing, if predictable timing, for all of this to happen.

    SF September 8, 2007, 8:41 pm
  • Good point there SF

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:43 pm
  • Cash, Cora, Kielty all play tomorrow.
    Guaran-fucking-teed.

    SF September 8, 2007, 8:43 pm
  • Huff doubles. Now I’m really going.
    D
    o
    o
    m
    a
    n
    d
    G
    l
    o
    o
    m

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 8:43 pm
  • Cash, Cora, Kielty all play tomorrow.
    With Hinske at 1st.

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:46 pm
  • Forgot about Hinske, but yeah, he’ll be playing too.
    We need Josh to come up big tomorrow – if they win that’s three of four in the series and that’s certainly a success in the short term, regardless of the debacle that is tonight’s game. Dice-K’s another story, of course.

    SF September 8, 2007, 8:49 pm
  • “After four straight guys I get someone up, after five I visit the mound and slow things down, and after six that should be it. What’s the point with extended rosters and a game still tied in potentially wrecking a guy’s head for the near term, with the playoffs approaching? Why not get him out, keep him from getting destroyed, and save his arm a little?”
    did he seriously let six guys make a base before heading to the mound???

    YF September 8, 2007, 8:51 pm
  • Josh needs to be in the dugout right now drinking from a .64 oz can of Man Up.

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:52 pm
  • BTW, SFs: Alex just hit dinger 2 for the nite. Not trolling. Just noting. He’s done gone crazy.

    YF September 8, 2007, 8:52 pm
  • Yep YF…
    I swear that Tito was looking at a AAA bullpen for idiots guide.

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:53 pm
  • >>”BTW, SFs: Alex just hit dinger 2 for the nite. Not trolling. Just noting. He’s done gone crazy.”
    And Boras is drooling in his office about the opt-out.

    Rob September 8, 2007, 8:54 pm
  • Yes. Boras just put a downpayment on Bermuda. Not a house on Bermuda. The whole thing.

    YF September 8, 2007, 8:56 pm
  • Both Daisuke and Hideki should be rested. There is really no reason not to do this. The Red Sox do have a significant lead on the Yankees, and are almost assured of getting into the playoffs.
    Francona needs to be planning for the post-season.
    How about 1-week vacation in Bermuda for Dick-K and Hideki? They can stay in Boras’ little 6-bedroom, 10-bathroom bungalow.

    SoxFan September 8, 2007, 9:09 pm
  • Meant Dice-K, not Dick-K.

    SoxFan September 8, 2007, 9:11 pm
  • when a-rod disappears in the playoffs this year, will his stock drop?
    i think this years version of his october disappointent may be the only thing that keeps him in ny.

    sf rod September 8, 2007, 9:15 pm
  • I’m back, and I see that Francoma woke up long enough to finally sub in Moss and Cash.

    Anonymous September 8, 2007, 9:17 pm
  • Yankees smacking KC around, 11-2.
    Detroit up 8-5 on Seattle, which I guess is good news (rooting for whoever is closer to New York in the Wild Card standings).

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 9:18 pm
  • The Sox had 4 doubles and a home run in the first three innings… That should spell a lead for a championship -quality team.
    RKO is saying that Gagne may be back as early as Monday. Oh, joy.

    Hudson September 8, 2007, 9:19 pm
  • *sigh*
    Dice has oodles of talent, boys. Quality, as he is, does not all of a sudden lose it without reason. He will find the problem and come back stronger.
    Every pitcher goes through the shit he is presently experiencing. Call it frustration, loss of confidance, or both. But have faith.
    Nice to hear Gagne is back. If he does not return 10x stronger than when he went down I’ll enter the Cask and Flagon with full Yank gear, whip out my prick, and ask the bar who wants first dibs.

    BostonRAW September 8, 2007, 10:35 pm
  • good point rod…arod’s possible ’07 playoff performance, which until recently wasn’t even a factor [at least in my mind], may very well impact his value to certain playoff-type teams…
    soxfan, it’s weird, i made the same “dick-k” typo a couple of days ago…totally inadvertent…

    dc September 8, 2007, 10:58 pm
  • Didn’t have a chance to see the game, had to work, but from the comments Daisuke’s outing seems absolutely brutal. The top three places I’d begin looking for an answer:
    1) No change-up. Daisuke was never a power-pitcher. He was a junk-baller with power. The last few outings in particular all fastball (of several varieties) and slider. Is it that he can’t get his other pitches over, or that Varitek isn’t calling them. Or some combination of the two. Without his other pitches working his “power” stuff is very hittable. With them, he’s (historically) very tough. Possible solution for this category of problems: get his old manager and former pitcher over here, Mr. Higashio. Last time 大輔さん was really struggling Higashio happened to find himself in town and watched a few bullpen sesssions, had a few dinners with the young man and things improved. Plus, Higashio’s daughter is hot and a pro-golfer over in America who speaks perfect English, so he probably needs the airline tickets anyway.
    2) This could be related a bit to the above. Communication and the entourage. I have some experience dealing with multi-lingual situations. Translating is a tough business and while doing the work there is little time for reflection. I noticed an article in MLB patting all the clubs on their collective backs for the wonderful jobs they are doing for their Japanese players. Ichiro’s translator got special attention, though he is probably one of the worst translators I have ever heard. Thus Ichiro’s reputation for flaky quotes, when in fact he is a fairly cerebral and definitely not wacky guy. The Red Sox did a good job of taking the problem seriously after the debacle of Daisuke’s first appearance before the press. But the Harvard guy and the gal who worked with Mrs. D may be causing problems and missing things they can’t even fathom. I often come across situations where the translators have the skills and the intelligence, but lack important kinds of insight, perspective, experience, and street smarts to get the job done correctly. Wild speculation hat off. Solution: fly me to Boston and let me observe all interactions between Daisuke and his translators. I won’t say a thing. But I guarantee I’ll pick up twenty or thirty things problems that need to be handled. (p.s. business class, thanks. And the wife wants tickets.)
    3) Tired. Physically, mentally. This too could also be related to the two points above. Hard to tell. But in this vein of thought he needs more mental toughness: especially when he thinks he’s getting squeezed by the umps (taking it personally instead of understanding MLB umps, many of them, suck). Especially when he wants to throw a different pitch than Varitek is giving him. His whole demeanor on the field, from the get-go of the season, has seemed to me a bit off. No rhythm. Languishing between pitches. Pulling at his belt, adjusting his hat. Just not strong. Not Daisuke. I thought it would get better but it seems to be getting worse. A hesistant, sulking, less than confident player is blood in the water. You can smell it. Anyway who has played sports at a high level understands the feeling one gets when sensing the opposition (a player or the whole
    team) is scared, doubting. I wouldn’t be surprised if when I get a chance to see that inning, the Baltimore players have that old familar twinkle in the eye. Solution: shut it down for a start, and maybe he needs a tattoo. A good bench clearing brawl. In the first inning needs to urinate on the mound to claim it Daisuke’s territory. Something. Wake up your Alpha male Daisuke!

    kyoto September 9, 2007, 5:36 am
  • p.s. point two, was not meant to be about the press, but about translating done with coaches, etc…

    kyoto September 9, 2007, 6:28 am
  • Not for nothing but, to be honest, at various times this year Dice-K has looked completely out of it. Early on, I seem to recall 3rd and 4th inning difficulties for Dice-K in various games. Thinking back on those innings it has just seemed like Matsuzaka loses focus sometimes. Were there bad calls that he took personally?… maybe so, I recall thinking several times early this year that an established pitcher would probably get a call Dice-K wasn’t getting. Truthfully, I don’t know if the Sox players have lost faith in Masuzaka or not, but his run support has certainly dropped dramatically from the start of the season.
    The one thing I do recall noticing is Dice-K came in purported to have command of 6 pitches at all times. Personally, I can’t recall having seen him throw all 6, much less COMMAND them all! Qualms about the size and feel of MLB baseballs (and their uniformity) aside, Masuzaka really has looked lost at some point in a majority of his games… and at times his command has simply gone poof… Sometimes for entire innings.
    Having said all that, it was obvious all year that the guy has good stuff when it’s going good. Unfortunately, the last few times out he hasn’t had good stuff, and on Sat. his pitches were all flat with barely any break on any of them. The first batter the Orioles sent to the plate took him to the warning track and the second took him deep. .
    Something else that seems to either bother Dice-K (the long wait?) or make him lose focus is getting huge run support early in a game. I remember telling one Red Sox fan that my ideal Dice-K pitching scenario was a 1-0 Sox lead after 6 or 7, then a Red Sox rally to score a bunch after Dice-K has finished his pitching line and hand it off to the pen. I could be wrong but it seems like more times than I’m comfortable dwelling on, Masuzaka has been given a big lead only to give at least a part of it right back. As for fatigue, it sure looks to me like something isn’t right with Matsuzaka. Even when he wasn’t consistent early in the season he could usually be counted on to have several very good innings. Now? not so much, time for a rest? I think so… Will he get one? hope so, but if he doesn’t I don’t think the rest of this season I’ll feel the same hopefulness I felt on the day of his starts as I did in April and May!

    Brian September 10, 2007, 12:33 am
  • Not for nothing but, to be honest, at various times this year Dice-K has looked completely out of it. Early on, I seem to recall 3rd and 4th inning difficulties for Dice-K in various games. Thinking back on those innings it has just seemed like Matsuzaka loses focus sometimes. Were there bad calls that he took personally?… maybe so, I recall thinking several times early this year that an established pitcher would probably get a call Dice-K wasn’t getting. Truthfully, I don’t know if the Sox players have lost faith in Masuzaka or not, but his run support has certainly dropped dramatically from the start of the season.
    The one thing I do recall noticing is Dice-K came in purported to have command of 6 pitches at all times. Personally, I can’t recall having seen him throw all 6, much less COMMAND them all! Qualms about the size and feel of MLB baseballs (and their uniformity) aside, Masuzaka really has looked lost at some point in a majority of his games… and at times his command has simply gone poof… Sometimes for entire innings.
    Having said all that, it was obvious all year that the guy has good stuff when it’s going good. Unfortunately, the last few times out he hasn’t had good stuff, and on Sat. his pitches were all flat with barely any break on any of them. The first batter the Orioles sent to the plate took him to the warning track and the second took him deep. .
    Something else that seems to either bother Dice-K (the long wait?) or make him lose focus is getting huge run support early in a game. I remember telling one Red Sox fan that my ideal Dice-K pitching scenario was a 1-0 Sox lead after 6 or 7, then a Red Sox rally to score a bunch after Dice-K has finished his pitching line and hand it off to the pen. I could be wrong but it seems like more times than I’m comfortable dwelling on, Masuzaka has been given a big lead only to give at least a part of it right back. As for fatigue, it sure looks to me like something isn’t right with Matsuzaka. Even when he wasn’t consistent early in the season he could usually be counted on to have several very good innings. Now? not so much, time for a rest? I think so… Will he get one? hope so, but if he doesn’t I don’t think the rest of this season I’ll feel the same hopefulness I felt on the day of his starts as I did in April and May!

    Brian September 10, 2007, 12:36 am

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