Saturday, August 30, 2008

Matsuzaka Owns Chicago

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched his best game of the season against the Chicago White Sox earlier this month on August 9th, in Chicago. In that game, Dice-K went 8 innings, allowed 4 hits, 3 walks and one earned run, while striking out 4 batters. Boston won that game 6-2. Yesterday, Dice-K topped that game with an even more impressive game against the White Sox, this time in Fenway Park.

Dice-K MatsuzakaDice-K, again, went 8 full innings yesterday, this time allowing no runs while giving up only 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7. In 8 innings, the minimum number of batters a pitcher can face in 8 innings is 24. Thanks to a double play, the Dice-Man only faced 27 batters yesterday. Just a brilliant day for the Red Sox' leading Cy Young candidate for 2008.

Dustin PedroiaWhile Dice-K was mowing them down, Dustin Pedroia was lighting it up. Yes, our own Mighty Mouse had a field day, going 4 for 4 with a double, a walk, and 2 stolen bases. When Pedroia got on base, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Jason Bay each took turns driving him in. Youk and Bay were the big run producers, driving in 3 runs a piece. Our newest acquisition, Mark Kotsay, has played in two games, and hit two doubles. He's on pace to hit 30 doubles in his short time with the Sox (don't you hate those silly "projected to..." things that writers come up with, as if today's pace will continue uninterrupted).

Mark KotsayThe Red Sox' win only allowed them to remain in a holding pattern, as the Rays, Twins, and Yankees all turned in wins as well. The Rational Sox Fan playoff calculation indicates that the Sox must go 16-12 to finish the season and guarantee a playoff berth. With 19 games remaining at home, that sounds very doable!

Quite a bit of roster juggling took place yesterday as well. The Sox recently acquired David Ross, a catcher with 8 years of big league experience, primarily as a backup catcher. In order for Ross to be available for the playoff, he needed to be added to the 40 man roster prior to August 31. So, yesterday, the Sox did just that. Sean Casey was moved to the 15 day DL, joining JD Drew and Josh Beckett. That, plus a move that send Julio Lugo from the 15 day DL to the 60 day DL, created room for Ross, and allowed the Sox to keep recently called up David Pauley in the bullpen, and open up an opportunity to call up Michael Bowden from Pawtucket.

Bowden will be making his major league debut tonight as the starting pitcher against Mark Buehrle. Bowden is a very promising young right handed pitcher, and with Beckett out, and Colon not yet ready, this gives the Sox a chance to give Bowden a taste of the big leagues, just like they did with Clay Buchholz last year. Buchholz made the best of his 2007 call-up, let's hope Bowden follows suit!

(Photos Courtesy of ESPN)


Fenway West said...

Dice-K has been good this year but what he did last night was ACE material. It is great to see Tek and Dice-K coming on strong at the right time.

Niki said...

Nice Blog.
I am an Upstate NY Red Sox fan and let me tell you- that ain't easy to pull off. I have a coworker who is an Ahole Yankee fan and she just runs her cake spout all the time. Grrrr...

Rooster said...

FW - Absolutely - If only he could do that against everyone, not just the White Sox.

Niki - Thanks for commenting! I appreciate fans, like yourself, who live in hostile territory, behind enemy lines and all. Sounds like your friend is a very "typical" Yankee fan. Hope you come back.

Peter N said...

8 wins in our last 11 games...not bad! And that's with a makeship lineup! Pedey is totally AMAZING! Thanks Rooster...I hope your holiday weekend is going great. P.S. I added a new widget to the right side of my blog. It will give a Red Sox trivia question every day. I'm zero for one so far, but I was close! Pete

Peter N said...

Niki..there are a lot of great Red Sox blogs out there. Rooster has a way with his writing that is very entertaining! I stop here every day, and he stops often at my place. You can get to my blog by just clicking on my name and the link will be there. Rooster, this wasn't a plug, just a way to share the Sox joy. Thanks!

Rooster said...

Peter, even if it was a plug, I certainly don't mind. You've always been great in helping people learn about my site, I'll always return the favor.

What we saw last night was another argument for why they "can" get it done without Beckett and other starters being healthy.