The New Pedro?

A Newsday column today notes the silver lining for Yanks fans after being swept by the Sox.

Yet, this was anything but a lost weekend at Fenway for the Yankees, who dropped three games here for the first time since the 1960 season but picked up a very important bit of information for future reference:

They can hit Dice-K.

I agree that, from a Soxfan perspective, this is the most troubling thing about the series. They hit Schilling, but that was really an A-Rod-only show. They hit Beckett, but he settled down and essentially dominated the lineup for five innings. And they hit Daisuke, who looked inconsistent at best, dominant versus Abreu and Rodriguez, not so much against Giambi, Jeter or *gasp* Nieves.

On the other hand, Wallace Matthews inadvertantly gives Soxfans reason for hope.

On a weekend of despair in Boston, the Yankees leave with one small hope: In Dice-K, they may have found a new Pedro.

If by this, Wallace means the Yankees have found a new pitcher to lose to in big postseason spots, and to be dominated in games like no other pitcher has ever dominated them, I agree. Let’s hope the Yankees have found their new Pedro.

93 comments… add one
  • Are we talking about “I just have to tip my hat to the Yankees and call them my daddy” Pedro?

    john April 23, 2007, 12:23 pm
  • Or a pitcher they never really were afraid of like the rest of the league was, won half the games he started, and beat in a historically great Game 7 of the ALCS, is, y’know, what he meant.
    Hopefully Matsuzaka won’t be the next Pedro, and with his average fastball he won’t be, but even if he puts up great numbers, the Yankees for one won’t look like little leaguers against him.

    Andrew April 23, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • Jeez, the Yankees, with their 1-6, can hit almost everyone. What happens if they have a solid game against a guy like Halladay, or Santana? Will the scribes focus on the fact that the Yankees “know they can hit Johan”? This was his first start against a great offense. He struggled, without question. But I don’t think we saw Daisuke’s best, and all he needs to do to be really effective against a team like the Yankees is to hold them to three runs over 7 innings, not a far cry from what he did even when pitching inconistently last night. To expect a pitcher to dominate that lineup is realistic. It can be done, but it will be done rarely. I certainly don’t think we saw Matsuzaka’s best last night, and if I am right then he’ll be just fine.

    SF April 23, 2007, 12:27 pm
  • Maybe it means the guy who can throw bean balls? He hit A-Rod and Jeter last night!

    Peter April 23, 2007, 12:30 pm
  • >On a weekend of despair in Boston
    Effing melodrama.
    The Yankees don’t need to “find a new Pedro.” They don’t need to find anything in Boston. They need Moose and Wang to get healthy. They need to trade Pavano, or just cut bait – who cares. They need to pack Jorge in bubble wrap when he travels, and look for a backup catcher that can hit at least his weight, and the last part of that “need” applies to first base as well. And most of all, they need writers to stop defining them by ridiculous allegory.

    attackgerbil April 23, 2007, 12:32 pm
  • I’m actually wondering where Pedro EVER succeeded against the Yankees in the postseason. Care to provide an example where the Yankees lost to Pedro in a big postseason spot?

    Andrew April 23, 2007, 12:33 pm
  • If they beat up on him Friday I’ll get a little worried. When he hits two guys trying to come inside and misses location that badly, time and time again, he’s not throwing his best game. He was erratic. And you can’t be erratic against NY and expect to do a whole lot.
    PS: Bronx Banter, trying to find things to be positive about, said, “save for the eighth inning Friday and Proctor’s outing last night the bullpen shut out the Red Sox over 9.1 innings.” OK, if that’s legit, then save for A-Rod’s two homers, Schilling’s start was fantastic; and save his first two innings, so was Beckett’s.

    desturbd1 April 23, 2007, 12:34 pm
  • and beat in a historically great Game 7 of the ALCS..
    Or, a juiced up Giambi beat in that game…but, that here nor there. Whatever you want to hang your hat on.

    Brad April 23, 2007, 12:35 pm
  • Wow, talk about bitter herbs.
    Like I said, Pedro has never succeeded in the postseason against the Yankees. Paul might want to edit his post.

    Andrew April 23, 2007, 12:36 pm
  • D1 –
    So essentially, with the exception of two of the three games, New York’s bullpen did pretty well? That’s a good post. Not as good as the four solo homers one from LoHud, but funny nonetheless.

    Brad April 23, 2007, 12:37 pm
  • “Igawa (Hanshin Tigers) and Iwamura (Yakult Swallows) were on rival teams in the Central League. According to a pal in the Japanese media (thanks, Gaku) Iwamura was 25 of 86 against Igawa with three homers and 28 strikeouts.” (LOHUD)
    Cool.

    desturbd1 April 23, 2007, 12:39 pm
  • BTW, when I googled “pedro martinez call them my daddy” (I was hoping for the more alliterative “‘call them my papi’ pedro”), I came up with this link: http://www.progressiveboink.com/archive/yankees.htm

    john April 23, 2007, 12:40 pm
  • Pedro’s career numbers against the Yankees are here:
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/psplit.cgi?n1=martipe02
    Scroll down a little. Certainly the Yankees did better against Pedro than Pedro did against the rest of the league, but shouldn’t this be expected? They were the best team in baseball for a good stretch of Pedro’s career. I think the “daddy” comment has colored Pedro’s accomplishments against the Bombers. Though not otherworldly, he was way better than league average against them. He was a damn good pitcher against the best team in baseball, and had several dominating performances.
    I get a real sense of some revisionism going on here, based mostly on Pedro’s “daddy” comment. It’s wrong to say that Pedro was his dominating self against the Yankees, but it’s equally wrong to make it out like the Yankees had Petey’s number with consistency.

    SF April 23, 2007, 12:42 pm
  • They were good games, so I don’t know why everyone’s looking for a silver lining in them. New York mashes pitchers, and good ones find a way to go six or seven innings. Not many teams are going to shut them down, and when they do, it’s more NY’s fault than credit to the pitcher. Boston’s pitchers are good, and know how to pitch to big hitters. Of course there are going to be times when both are out of whack, but for the most part, I think we saw what we’re going to see. Good to decent pitching and good to great hitting. It’s not a secret to anyone what each teams strengths and weaknesses are.
    Now, if Boston could just get that bullpen out of the cellar I’d be happy!
    And Andrew, you’re right. Pedro never really threw dominant games against NY. Also, neither does anyone really. If NY sees a guy 7 times a year, the chances of him succeeding are slim, and the same can be said about any lineup and any pitcher. That being said, Pedro was just as likely to strike out 16 as he was to take a loss against them. As was Roger, Mussina, Schilling, and a host of other great pitchers.

    Brad April 23, 2007, 12:42 pm
  • Andrew, Pedro pitched in relief in the 2004 postseason and was a nail in the coffin.
    No SFs talking about Joe’s “desparation” using Pettitte in relief seemed to remember that.
    John YF

    john April 23, 2007, 12:45 pm
  • wow, that guys needs a hobby, John.

    Brad April 23, 2007, 12:46 pm
  • Using Pettitte in relief last night (and one other time this season, IIRC) = Pedro pitching in relief in the 2004 postseason?

    QuoSF April 23, 2007, 12:47 pm
  • No SFs talking about Joe’s “desparation” using Pettitte in relief seemed to remember that.
    What’s to talk about? The Yankees are on pace to throw over 600IP in relief… My guess is that if this pace continues, AP will be in that bullpen for three outs pretty frequently.
    It was a good move by Torre to bring in his best, and most reliable, lefty to get out the heart of the order. Of course, if you look at the numbers, it’s not a clear domination on paper, but it worked out for him to his credit.

    Brad April 23, 2007, 12:48 pm
  • I guess I’m being a bit harsh towards Nieves and Mientkiewicz; I just found out Nieves dislocated his thumb in the fourth, had it popped back in, and caught four more until Phelps came on, and Mientkiewicz did go two for three. I can’t imagine doing anything much more than physical than moving with a dislocated anything.

    attackgerbil April 23, 2007, 12:48 pm
  • I just checked Retrosheet.org, and it said Pedro pitched one inning in relief in the 2004 ALCS, the seventh inning, and gave up 2 runs on three hits.

    Andrew April 23, 2007, 12:49 pm
  • Wow. The revisionism seems to be on the part of SFs trying to explain away the “daddies” comment. Yes, Pedro was far better than average against the Yanks, and won a share of games as well. But the truth is–as Pedro HIMSELF acknowledged—it got to a point where it seemed the Yanks had the Sox’s number in games in which he started. The losses weren’t necessarily Pedro’s “fault,” but that wasn’t really the point–the point was that the Yanks were winning games he started, sometimes making him a hard-luck pitchter. Let’s not insult everyone’s intelligence and pretend otherwise. And let’s not make it a knock on Pedro, either. The guy was/is a savant, the best pitcher I’ve ever seen, no matter who he pitched against, Yanks included.

    YF April 23, 2007, 12:51 pm
  • In 2004 Pedro was a heart attack – Francona brought him in in relief and he could barely get anyone out. I think I chewed off a finger.

    SF April 23, 2007, 12:53 pm
  • I remember Pedro pitching GREAT games against the Yanks, and that they figured out more ways to eke out wins (Moose’s 1-hitter and all the unlikely late rallies) against him than his era against the Yanks would make you think.
    When he got a little older and they beat him in the later innings, he got frustrated, because he was used to being the best, not going 11 and 10.

    john April 23, 2007, 12:54 pm
  • I’m with Andrew: Pedro sucks. I looked, and I can’t find anywhere that Pedro looked good against NY, be it playoffs or not. This guy was a bum. I hate that he ever pitched at all in Boston. He was the definition of suckiness. I’m glad he’s gone from our lives.

    Brad April 23, 2007, 12:54 pm
  • I agree, YF.

    Brad April 23, 2007, 12:56 pm
  • Wow, Pedro gave up two runs in one inning in the 2004 ALCS? The Yanks lost that game, and I could have sworn Pedro pitched well. Obviously my memory is tainted by the three losses in a row.

    john April 23, 2007, 12:57 pm
  • Daisuke’s line against a team that usually has trouble hitting unknown pitchers is encouraging, as was the team’s performance against Schilling and Beckett. With Mussina and Wang in the lineup, this series could have easily gone the other way.

    Andrews April 23, 2007, 12:58 pm
  • YF, waking up late and in a majorly crusty mood. No surprise there, considering that last night’s affair led to several out-of-character F-bombs from our literary CEO. Nobody’s “insulting anyone’s intelligence”, for the record, but the fact is that when Petey made that comment he made it easy for people to say that losses that weren’t “necessarily his fault” were due to the fact that the Yankees were consistently able to hit him. The bottom line is that Pedro was not as good against the Yankees as he was against the rest of the league, though he was still damn good, and at times great. This is a credit to both Pedro AND the Yankees: surely their ability to hit him on several occasions had much to do with the depth and quality of their squad.

    SF April 23, 2007, 12:59 pm
  • Jesus Brad, I stated a fact. Don’t go all drama queen again.
    Pedro was an amazing pitcher, but to say that it never seemed like the Yankees had his number especially the last two years of his Boston career is ridiculous.
    They never, EVER lost to Pedro in a big postseason spot, and I think that, for one, is notable.

    Andrew April 23, 2007, 12:59 pm
  • Andrew is right: I don’t recall the Yankees ever losing to Pedro in the postseason.

    SF April 23, 2007, 1:05 pm
  • Four, I meant four losses in a row.
    I looked up Pedro’s record in 2004 ALCS, and I was surprised. Before he gave up two earned runs in one inning in relief, he was 0 and 1 with a 5.25 era in 2 starts.
    Believe me, it never seemed easy at the time.

    john April 23, 2007, 1:06 pm
  • ha. I wasn’t sure my sarcasm came through there, but I guess it did.
    Anyhow, Yankee fans should be happy. They hit all three pitchers well (less Beckett, who actually dominated the second half of the game after the shaky start), but really, did you think that wouldn’t happen? They’re an group of the best hitters in the business… of course they’re going to hit balls hard.
    They have a tendency to beat up nearly every pitcher they face, no matter who it is…
    If the “we hit them hard” line is what YF’s take from those three games, my response would be “but didn’t chase any of them early, and still lost all the games” to it. Both sides have good things to take from the games.

    Brad April 23, 2007, 1:07 pm
  • It is implicit in the act of looking for silver linings that it’s just rained like hell.

    SF April 23, 2007, 1:08 pm
  • Believe me, it never seemed easy at the time
    yeah, for both sides, John!

    Brad April 23, 2007, 1:09 pm
  • In 1999, Pedro beat the Yankees in the ALCS.
    1 start, 7 innings, 2 hits, 12 k, no runs.

    john April 23, 2007, 1:10 pm
  • SF, that’s a great line…

    Brad April 23, 2007, 1:10 pm
  • Wait, Andrew is wrong!
    1999 seems like an eternity…

    SF April 23, 2007, 1:12 pm
  • Oh my lord, you’re right.

    Andrew April 23, 2007, 1:17 pm
  • Um, Andrew, 2004?
    He received the no-decision, but Martinez shut down the Yankees when the Sox were facing elimination, and his team won the game. Likewise, in 1999, with the Yankees looking to go up 3-0 in the series, while Clemens folded, Pedro struck out 12 and the Sox won that game as well.
    If Daisuke Matsuzaka posts a career 3.03 ERA with 257 strikeouts in 211 IP, and a .209 BAA, Yankee fans will not be so enthusiastic about facing him.
    People remember the 2004 Pedro and forget that he dominated the Yankees better than any other pitcher in history. His numbers against New York are better than his numbers against Toronto (slightly lower ERA, fewer K/9, higher BAA). Those looking solely at the 11-10 record forget that because the Red Sox were not so good in the early 2000s and the Yankees were amazing in the late 1990s. Considering the depth and talent of the late 1990s Yankee clubs against whom Martinez pitched, the fact that he threw a 17-K one-hitter against them, and the fact that he gave up only three runs per nine against them, and struck out nearly 11 batters per nine is simply phenomenal. During the six years Martinez was on his game (1998-2003), the Yankees were just as helpless against him as any other team — maybe slightly less. The fact that he was only great, instead of superhuman, in 2004 should not be held against him.

    Paul SF April 23, 2007, 1:21 pm
  • “During the six years Martinez was on his game (1998-2003)”
    I’ve always thought that the Pedro-as-Superman era ended in 2001, the first time he hurt his arm. He was still dominant after that, but he lost a little something. Not that ERAs of 2.39, 2.22 and 2.26 are anything to sneeze at, but the aura of invincibility was gone. Like his rotator cuff was one throw away from tearing, or something.

    Tyrel SF April 23, 2007, 1:40 pm
  • He received the no-decision, but Martinez shut down the Yankees when the Sox were facing elimination, and his team won the game.
    ? His no-decision start: 6 innings 7 hits 4 earned runs 5 bb 6 k. 4 runs in 6 innings is not shutting them down.
    The fact that he was only great, instead of superhuman, in 2004 should not be held against him.
    But in the end, he wasn’t great in the 2004 postseason against the Yanks (0 – 1, 6.25 era) or 2003 (0 – 1, 5.65 era), and there was no game betwen 1999 and 2003.
    What’s interesting is that in 2004 he gave up 14 hits in 13 innings (or 11 hits in 12 innings, without the relief appearance), and that doesn’t usually translate into a 6.25 (or 5.25) era.
    2003 was similar to 2004. Two starts, 16 hits in 14.1 innings (not as good), a 5.65 era, 1 loss and no win.
    Obviously Yankee fans would be happy with a postseason from Dice-K with 1 annual loss, no wins and a 5+ era.

    john April 23, 2007, 1:58 pm
  • For several years, Pedro was incredible, the best. I don’t think Dice-K is going to be Pedro, even if the gyroball is the best changeup since Pedro’s.
    As Yankee fans have been saying, facing KC is not the same as facing the Yanks. Sure, he’ll adjust, but Pedro was the best.

    john April 23, 2007, 2:02 pm
  • Matsuzaka is reminds me a lot more of a young Mike Mussina than of any brand of Pedro.

    tom yf April 23, 2007, 2:07 pm
  • By that I mean low 90s fast ball, 75 different pitches, good command, good fielder. He’s not Pedro, but behind the Red Sox offense, he has many great years ahead of him…of wild card finishes or missing the playoffs, that is. :-)

    Anonymous April 23, 2007, 2:12 pm
  • Yah, Pedro didn’t exactly ‘shut em down’ in 2004. He’s actually lucky he didn’t get completely destroyed by those unsightly 5 walks he gave up. The Yanks completely and utterly choked in that game, and the next 3 games following. It is more reasonable to say that Pedro nearly lost Boston the season that year, if not for late-game heroics by Ortiz. You’re not ‘shutting a team down’ with that line.

    Andrew April 23, 2007, 2:19 pm
  • For several years, Pedro was incredible, the best. I don’t think Dice-K is going to be Pedro, even if the gyroball is the best changeup since Pedro’s.
    I agree, John. But you are essentially agreeing with my point. It’s Newsday comparing Matsuzaka with Pedro, and I don’t think they realize exactly what they’re wishing.
    Pedro Martinez pitched well enough to win Game 7 in 2003 and Game 5 in 2004. I don’t think you can ask anything else of a pitcher.

    Paul SF April 23, 2007, 2:22 pm
  • I meant, of course, the game before and the 2 games following.

    Andrew April 23, 2007, 2:23 pm
  • Seems to me there is revisionism here on both sides of the debate. Pedro definately dominated the yankees as he did with just about everyone else for his share of the games. He also had a fairly long stretch of starts in which he didnt get a single win and the sox often lost (often no fault of his own). I do still think it is remarkable that a pitcher of his caliber did call another team his daddy and his frustration leading to this comment must have come from somewhere.
    Also in response to the above comment about the yankees pen on pace to throw 600 innings this year. If that happens, SF enjoy first place bc it will be yours, Jays fans can enjoy 2nd, and O’s fans 3rd. Im sick of the whole on pace thing this early in the season, Arod is “on pace” for 114 HRs this year. That was just a dumb comment made by Joe Morgan in last nights game.

    sam YF April 23, 2007, 2:36 pm
  • Keep in mind, too, that if Dice-K progresses as the RS front office expects, he’s at the beginning of his prime. He’ll only improve. He still has adjustments to make. He still has to find his comfort zone.
    Now, if this is the best he ever pitches against NYY, then yeah, that’s bad.
    By the end of Pedro’s tenure in Boston, when he was vulnerable to NYY in the postseason, he was past his prime. Maybe not a lot, but past it nonetheless. And when you have to face great hitter after great hitter, you’re gonna crack. I think Mo is a classic example of that.
    To be fair, I don’t recall any NYY pitcher who was ALWAYS effective against the RS in the postseason.

    I'm Bill McNeal April 23, 2007, 2:38 pm
  • “That was just a dumb comment made by Joe Morgan in last nights game.”
    Sam, there was just one?

    I'm Bill McNeal April 23, 2007, 2:40 pm
  • “That was just a dumb comment made by Joe Morgan in last nights game.”
    Sam, there was just one?

    I'm Bill McNeal April 23, 2007, 2:41 pm
  • Oh Bill there where many. That was just one of them!

    sam YF April 23, 2007, 2:42 pm
  • Sam, you’re right about the on pace thing, of course…but isn’t there a little fear about what could happen if Mussina or Wang don’t come back at 100%? (Or at least 80-90%?)
    Even if they do come back healthy, many pitching coaches do subscribe to the “there are only a set number of bullets in the chamber” argument. In other words, even if the pen settles down and doesn’t have to throw an inordinate number of innings over the rest of the year…this fast start could hurt pretty badly later on. I think the next ten days will be extremely important; after that weekend in Boston, NY needs to let their starters throw until they hit their limit…whether that means leaving them there to get shelled through 6 or not.

    desturbd1 April 23, 2007, 2:42 pm
  • FWIW, on the tail of Bill’s comment, Mike Plugh, a Japan-based Yankee fan who runs the great Matsuzaka Watch site, says that Matsuzaka will be Cy Young candidate this year and that he will be better next year. Basically meaning that no matter how good or bad Matsuzaka is in his debut season, he will continue to improve.
    I agree, and I remember well, that Pedro often got many frustrating NDs at the hands of the Yankees. However, his stats show that he dominated them at a pace very close to other teams in his division and the league. Considering how much better the Yankees were than the rest of the league, you could argue he actually did BETTER against them when compared to their talent level. The fact that the Red Sox couldn’t score, or that the bullpen couldn’t hold leads, has nothing to do with Pedro and everything to do with the maddening nature of the pre-2003 Sox. When the Sox finally had the firepower (2003-04) behind him, Pedro was entering his decline phase. Regardless, Martinez is the best pitcher we ever did or ever will see; if Matsuzaka’s line against the Yankees ends up being anywhere close to Pedro’s, Wallace Matthews will not be writing many hopeful columns the day after his starts.

    Paul SF April 23, 2007, 2:44 pm
  • I agree d1. The fact is if the yankees cant get good consistant starting pitching its over. No team wins without it. Sure they have a little more wiggle room with their offense but they need more than 3-4 IP from their starters. I think the overwork now will not be that much of an issue should they get on track, trades and promotions from the minors can solve that. But they need guys to go deeper into games so they can use what i still believe is a talented pen properly.

    sam YF April 23, 2007, 2:47 pm
  • “He received the no-decision, but Martinez shut down the Yankees when the Sox were facing elimination”
    In reality, Paul, Pedro left after 6 IP losing 4-2. His line 6IP 7H 4R 4ER 5BB 6 SO 1 HR.
    “The fact that he was only great, instead of superhuman, in 2004…”
    His line for the series: 13IP 14H 9R 9ER 9BB 14 SO 2HR 6.23 ERA That’s what you consider great?

    Andrews April 23, 2007, 2:48 pm
  • I don’t know if Japanese pitchers progress the same American ones do. Remember that in Japan they train entirely differently and have entirely different routines to go through. It could be that Matsuzaka is in his prime now, or was a year ago, and that this is his peak. That said, he looked very hittable last night, against players that have never seen him before.

    Andrew April 23, 2007, 2:51 pm
  • All I can say about his 2004 Game 5 start is that the game felt very different from the box score. C’est la vie. When I said “2004,” Andrews, I was referring to the season, during which he made the “daddy” comment.

    Paul SF April 23, 2007, 2:54 pm
  • …Matsuzaka’s been in the big leagues since age 18; that’s as uncommon in Japan as it is over here. Igawa didn’t break in permanently until age 22, for example. So if 25 is when Japanese pitchers hit their prime, Igawa’s due to fall apart pretty rapidly and Okajima’s rise the last 2 seasons (in Japan) makes absolutely no sense. One bad start and you’re questioning whether he’s already on the decline? Give me a break…

    desturbd1 April 23, 2007, 3:03 pm
  • So your “there’s only so many bullets in the barrel” argument goes right out the window when it comes to Red Sox players, huh?
    Buddy, I’m saying that assuming Matsuzaka is just going to get better because he’s ‘just entering his prime’ is a questionable assumption, that’s all. Don’t get your panties in a bunch, I’m not predicting anything.

    Andrew April 23, 2007, 3:10 pm
  • Comeon….Its not like the Yankees dominated him like we did Chase Wright. They had 8 hits in 7 + innings off him… or about 1 per inning. The hits came at great times and the HBP didn’t help.
    Every pitcher is allowed a bad outing every now and then, even $100 million ones.
    On May 29, 2005 Mike Mussina gave up 5 runs to Boston in 3 innings, has that made him any less effective against Boston?
    On September 5, 2003 Andy Pettitte gave up 8 runs to Boston in 2.1 innings, has that made him any less effective against Boston?
    Look for Matsuzaka to be more motivated Friday night and to pitch a gem of a game.

    TJ April 23, 2007, 3:13 pm
  • “Buddy, I’m saying that assuming Matsuzaka is just going to get better because he’s ‘just entering his prime’ is a questionable assumption, that’s all.”
    And I’m saying it’s no more questionable then expecting Phil Hughes to be better at 24 then he is at 20, and better at 28 then he will be at 24. Pitchers in Japan don’t just retire at 30.
    And I don’t necessarily believe in the bullets in the chamber argument, though I do think it’s more likely to apply to bullpen arms then starters by virtue of the uncertainty involved in their work; I’m just saying, that’s the way some guys in the game think. Stress points and all that stuff. And even if it is true for most people, some guys prove over the course of their careers that they’re just freaks of nature. Nolan Ryan, Mo, Clemens, RJ, etc.

    desturbd1 April 23, 2007, 3:21 pm
  • its all pure (and pointless speculation) Dice could have 12 more 200+ IP inning seasons in him or blow out his elbow in the next start and need TJ surgery. He could have peaked, be at his peak, or on his way up to his peak. Pitchers are totally unpredictable. This conversation would be more useful for a hitter who follow a pretty regular career path as far as skill

    sam YF April 23, 2007, 3:35 pm
  • Obviously Matsuzaka was not on his A Game last night. I think that he definately learned that to pitch against the Yankees you need to make sure you pick up the big league uniform prior to faing them.
    As much as the Yankees needed to face him last night, he needed to face them so both parties could have a mutual understanding of the other. I am not sure how pitching inside is viewed in Japan, but with his approach last night it would seem that he is rather “new” to it.
    I think a lot of the Dice and Pedro comparisions are stemming from the circus that brews up at the Ball Park. Pedro was real good at getting everyone going by saying things. Dice gets it going by being him and the $103 mil tag associated with him. Evryone wants to see 103 mil waking around. Not an everyday sight.

    Rob April 23, 2007, 3:38 pm
  • //Pedro was an amazing pitcher, but to say that it never seemed like the Yankees had his number especially the last two years of his Boston career is ridiculous.
    They never, EVER lost to Pedro in a big postseason spot, and I think that, for one, is notable.//
    Mo was an amazing pitcher, but to say that it never seemed like the Sox had his number, especially in the last three years, is ridiculous.
    They never, EVER lost to Mo in a big postseason spot, and I think that, for one, is notable.

    Steve April 23, 2007, 4:09 pm
  • Steve are you serious?
    a) I scanned the thread but did i miss where mo enter into this?
    b) Mo has 6 career post season saves vs. The Red Sox so by never Ever do you mean except these times?

    sam YF April 23, 2007, 4:16 pm
  • Comments:
    (1) The tiny sample size on Matsuzaka v. NYY makes this whole debate just silly.
    (2) Go back through Pettitte or Mussina’s careers vs. the Sox, and I bet you find at minimum one game each where they got tagged for 5-6 runs.
    (3) I have a theory brewing about DiceK, which will take some time to develop since he’s only pitched four times for Boston… But it goes something like this: It looks like DiceK is used to getting people out in Japan mainly by throwing tons of strikes. His approach seems to be to challenge the other side hit the ball. This worked in his previous outings (he just lacked run support) but with a lineup like the Yankees, it can lead to both a lot of Ks and a lot of hits. Since he seems to be a very analytical and versatile pitcher, as time goes on I expect he may adjust to MLB, and use more Pedro-like finesse. This is an optimistic take but I’ll be interested to see things play out…
    (4) Four consecutive home runs in one inning, STFU.

    Hudson April 23, 2007, 4:17 pm
  • (2) Go back through Pettitte or Mussina’s careers vs. the Sox, and I bet you find at minimum one game each where they got tagged for 5-6 runs.
    Yes Hudson look back about 5 posts and i show a date and how many runs they bothg gave up and commented that it didnt make them any less effective against Boston in future games.

    TJ April 23, 2007, 4:21 pm
  • “Evryone wants to see 103 mil waking around. Not an everyday sight.”
    What teams are you watching, Rob?
    Matsuzaka hasn’t looked 100% comfortable yet. I’m assuming he will at some point, and when he does, fuggedaboutit.

    Tyrel SF April 23, 2007, 4:21 pm
  • Yeah, Steve, you’re really, really not getting far on that one. I can’t even say it was a nice try.

    Andrew April 23, 2007, 4:22 pm
  • Tyrel…I was talking about Dice K by himself.
    Granted there are a number of teams out there with big payrolls, but when you see one person who is worth $103 mil (enough to buy most 3rd world countries and out fit a renegade army), in person is different.

    Rob April 23, 2007, 4:33 pm
  • I hear you Steve. I think the Mo/Pedro comparison is pretty darned apt, considering his success rate against the Sox versus the rest of Baseball. 76% save rate against the Sox, I think I read, and not including the postseason. That’s pretty lousy by Mo’s standards.

    Tyrel SF April 23, 2007, 4:39 pm
  • Rob, my point was that the Sox and Yanks both have guys worth more than Dice-K. Manny, Jeter, Arod, Giambi (I think?). $103 million isn’t that novel for either team.

    Tyrel SF April 23, 2007, 4:45 pm
  • Tyrel, comments like yours (“Matsuzaka hasn’t looked 100% comfortable yet. I’m assuming he will at some point, and when he does, fuggedaboutit”) make absolutely no sense. How do you know what he looks like when he’s comfortable? Does his ass stop wiggling? And if he’s not, why do you assume he will at some point? Matsuzaka is good. Can we move on?

    jm April 23, 2007, 4:51 pm
  • No it isn’t Tyrel, I think with all of the hoopla it has made it a bigger situation than what it really is.

    Rob April 23, 2007, 4:53 pm
  • Its an everyday sight in Boston and New York.
    Manny, Arod, Jeter, Giambi to name a few.

    sam YF April 23, 2007, 4:57 pm
  • jm – not to kick this dead horse, but you can’t really think that someone like Dice can be comfortable in his new surroundings yet, do you? He’s been here less than 2 months, and can probably only speak cuss words in English proficiently. He will get more and more comfortable as the year goes on and I would almost guarantee you that his performance will improve because of it. How could it not?

    jp - SF April 23, 2007, 5:00 pm
  • sam: It should be easy to tell I wasn’t being completely serious with that post.
    It only goes to show that if the Yankees “own” one of the best ever in Pedro, we “own” one of the best ever in Mo.
    And that’s the truth, no matter which way you want to look at it. He may have 6 postseason saves, because closers get far more opportunities than starters, but he also blew some of the most historic ones ever in 2004, and hasn’t exactly done well against us since then either.

    Steve April 23, 2007, 5:05 pm
  • “Tyrel, comments like yours (“Matsuzaka hasn’t looked 100% comfortable yet. I’m assuming he will at some point, and when he does, fuggedaboutit”) make absolutely no sense. How do you know what he looks like when he’s comfortable? Does his ass stop wiggling? And if he’s not, why do you assume he will at some point? Matsuzaka is good. Can we move on?”
    I hope not, I enjoy that part of his game :)

    TJ April 23, 2007, 5:08 pm
  • “Tyrel, comments like yours (“Matsuzaka hasn’t looked 100% comfortable yet. I’m assuming he will at some point, and when he does, fuggedaboutit”) make absolutely no sense. How do you know what he looks like when he’s comfortable? Does his ass stop wiggling? And if he’s not, why do you assume he will at some point? Matsuzaka is good. Can we move on?”
    I hope not, I enjoy that part of his game :)

    TJ April 23, 2007, 5:09 pm
  • :( I think i broke the site

    TJ April 23, 2007, 5:10 pm
  • Wonder if that fixes it?

    desturbd1 April 23, 2007, 5:11 pm
  • All better. Heh.

    desturbd1 April 23, 2007, 5:12 pm
  • Steve I dont think anyone here really said that the yanks owned Pedro, just had some luck against him. Id say the same about Mo vs. the sox. Even the very best pitchers get hit when the face the same time 5000 times every two years!

    sam YF April 23, 2007, 5:14 pm
  • We’re very democratic here at YFSF ;-). Anyone can break and fix the site at will… Hehe.

    Paul SF April 23, 2007, 5:15 pm
  • whew I was afraid YF and SF would come over to Bensonhurst, bust down my door and start beating me with some baseball bats :p

    TJ April 23, 2007, 5:20 pm
  • Meh, the only time he actually pitched poorly against Boston in the postseason was in game 5. Game 4 Gordon blew all by himself, forcing Mo to get all three outs with a runner on third. Of course, with a runner on third and no outs you’re going to score him no matter who’s pitching, that ain’t on Mo. Mo went on to pitch another dominating inning after Gordon coughed (or vomited? ;)) up the lead. All the other times, he’s dominated, especially in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, which is really the most dominating three innings I’ve ever see the man throw. After Boone’s jack, him lying prostrate on the mound reflected my feelings perfectly – thank god, because Mo wasn’t pitching a fourth inning. Plus, Mo has done amazingly well against Boston the last two years, I think his worst year against them coming in 2004, whereas Pedro completely dominated the Yanks up till 2002 or 2003. In 2004 he completely fell apart whenever he faced them. So that’s gone too.
    Baltimore and the Angels, actually, have better franchise numbers against Mo than the Red Sox. Dunno about the save chances, that’s the one thing Baseballreference.com lacks.
    So it’s not really much of a comparison at all, when you actually look instead of feel at it.

    Andrew April 23, 2007, 5:21 pm
  • Actually, that’s not fair to Pedro, he did even worse against Baltimore and the Angels that year.
    What’s with Baltimore and Anaheim pwning all these awesome pitchers?

    Andrew April 23, 2007, 5:28 pm
  • jm, if you’d like to move on, may I suggest another thread? From Paul’s lede, we can reasonably ascertain that this one is about Daisuke and the article which discussed his performance last night against the Yanks and what it means for the future, if anything.
    As for “how will I know what he looks like when he gets comfortable,” in my mind comfort pertains to hitting his spots. Arod’s hit in the 8th was a good example – Tek stood up for a high fastball but the pitch was down around his knees. Even in his best start, he wasn’t hitting his spots and walked three straight. Matsuzaka been pretty open n interviews about not having great command yet. Maybe it’s working with a new pitching coach, maybe it’s adjusting to a slightly different baseball, to a different strike zone, to ML hitters, maybe it’s mechanical, whatever. My only point is that, in my opinion, we haven’t seen what he’s fully capable of, and that it’s pretty silly to think that because some Yanks had good at bats in his fourth ML start that the Yanks are going to be his daddy, or whatever was implied by the “new Pedro” crack.

    Tyrel SF April 23, 2007, 5:34 pm
  • fixed open boldface

    attackgerbil April 23, 2007, 5:39 pm
  • “So it’s not really much of a comparison at all, when you actually look instead of feel at it.”
    Andrew, this is from Saturday’s article on Yahoo about the game.
    “Of Rivera’s 57 career blown saves, 11 have come against the Red Sox. The last time he blew consecutive saves was against Boston in the 2005 season.”
    So Mo has pitched approx 10% of his games against the Sox, yet they have accounted for almost 20% of his blown saves. That ain’t insignificant, and no matter what his ERA is vs. the O’s and Angels, it’s pretty obvious the Boston has his number like no other. Over his career, that’s 35 saves in 46 chances against the Sox. Frankly, that’s pretty damned Armando Benitez-esque. And I’m too lazy to look it up at retrosheet, but I’d venture to guess that the majority of his BS versus the Sox have come in the last four or five years, bringing his success rate against the Sox over that time period down to BK Kim territory.
    Take another look at Pedro’s stats against the Yanks (and that’s “look,” not “feel”) – 3.03 ERA, 211 innings pitched, 257 Ks, 58 BBs. That’s pretty frickin good. The record is only .500, but everyone who’s at least marginally familiar with sabermetrics knows that W/L are pretty much out of the pitchers control.
    To say that the relative degree of ownage isn’t somewhat equivalent requires some prescription rose-colored lenses.

    Tyrel SF April 23, 2007, 6:12 pm
  • ccl-onlinetr February 3, 2008, 4:21 pm
  • ccl-onlinetr February 3, 2008, 4:21 pm

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