The Diceman Shineth: Sox-Royals Game III Postmortem

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!

16 comments… add one
  • Thanks D. Spot on analysis, methinks.

    YF April 5, 2007, 9:35 pm
  • Oh, I feel very much that I must thank YOU. Honored to be able to play a part.

    Devine April 6, 2007, 12:14 am
  • Devine making the jump! Nice analysis, D.
    On a side note, ESPN has added a note to all of our team pages in or fantasy league. Basically, they say sorry for the scoring mixup that landed me in second place.

    Brad April 6, 2007, 1:10 am
  • yay.

    Tyrel SF April 6, 2007, 1:19 am
  • If anybody is interested, I’m willing to give up my SFYF fantasy team to someone else. I have two teams going on Yahoo and I am finding it impossible to keep track of all three.
    I think that all I would have to do is send you an invite to come on as a 2nd owner, and then I wouldn’t touch the team again after that. (Though I would root for you!)

    Kazz April 6, 2007, 1:23 am
  • I love Pedroia. Every person who listed 2B as a “need” or a “weakness” for the Sox this year is in for a surprise. The kid can play.

    Steve April 6, 2007, 2:46 am
  • Where’s Paul?

    Hudson April 6, 2007, 8:38 am
  • Probably in an Asahi puddle in Kansas City somewhere.

    SF April 6, 2007, 8:49 am
  • hey, that’s my line tyrel…
    seriously, sox fans, i already said it somewhere else, but congrats on the successful first outing for dmat…i only saw hightlights thanks to my favorite commish in the whole world, but he certainly lived up to expectations…i’m not surprised…i wasn’t as sold on pedroia, but looks like he’s having a great start…should be a fun season, if the yanks remember how to play defense…

    dc April 6, 2007, 8:49 am
  • dc: you should have trademarked “yay”. Like when Pat Riley (or was it Phil Jackson) trademarked “threepeat”.

    SF April 6, 2007, 9:18 am
  • RE: Matsuzaka–it’s been mentioned other places, and I thought it was a good point. What makes this start so outstanding (yes, it was the Royals, etc.) is not just that he pitched such a good game, but that he was EXPECTED to pitch this game…and did it anyway. It’s a remarkably clear-headed performance under the circumstances. Could YOU, even doing something that you’re really good at, do it when the whole world is watching and expecting excellence? What a great effing start.

    Devine April 6, 2007, 10:29 am
  • I was surprised that this early in the season they had him go past 100 pitches, considering he had a tired arm at the end of spring training. But in those later innings, he looked even stronger. He has a rep as someone who gets better the deeper he goes into games.
    He scares me.
    Nice write-up, Devine.

    Nick-YF April 6, 2007, 10:57 am
  • Hey, thanks for the kudos, Brad, Nick, YF! I am truly humbled.

    Devine April 6, 2007, 11:15 am
  • thanks for the wrap devine.
    brad- how’s second place taste there buddy? can i stay in first for the entire season? time will tell.

    sf rod April 6, 2007, 2:15 pm
  • For the record, I went from 3rd to last to 4th place. That’s soooo much more impressive. ;)

    desturbd1 April 6, 2007, 2:16 pm
  • Rod,

    Brad April 7, 2007, 1:22 pm

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