We know Paul will be chiming in soon with pictures and commentary on today’s great debut by Daisuke Matsuzaka, but in the meantime frequent commenter Devine gives us this summary, as I was slaving away at work unable to watch some of the game. Thanks, D.
On most days, Dustin Pedroia’s hot start would be a great topic for any wrap-up…but Pedroia’s consistency (he had two more hits today and has made solid contact on almost every ball in play) was overshadowed by the man of the offseason—the man most responsible for making Red Sox fans’ hearts a little lighter today.
What is there to say? Matsuzaka-san was great. He had the spotlight on him at the game’s start and kept it on him through 7 extremely effective innings, though Zach Greinke tried his damndest to take that spotlight away. Dice-K set down 10 in a row at one point. He struck out 10 (and walked one), striking out the side once (the 2-3-4 hitters, incidentally). He spotted pitches on the corners that made several hitters walk off crying and sucking their thumbs (figuratively, but still!). His curveball curved, his fastball fasted, his gyroball gyroed! He even worked around trouble a couple of times, and after his only really tough inning (the 6th), he struck out two more guys and got the side out 1-2-3 in the seventh. With Jonathan Papelbon back guarding the 9th as effectively as he always has, this game provided comfort on a lot of levels: Papelbon looks healthy and as good as he was last year, and three games into the season, the Red Sox rookie of the year chase is definitely a 2-man race. Let the Dustin Matsuzaka era begin!