Some thoughts while watching the Sox
– Daisuke has the potential to do well. And he is doing exactly that this season. But once again he has a pitch count that is just TOO high. Through four innings, he has only given up one earned, surrendered three hits, walked two, and struck out three. Not bad at all. But he has already thrown 81 pitches, 48 of which have been strikes. That has to change for him to get better!. A team like tha Yankees will understand going in, that they can just wait for Daisuke to take himself out of the game. And being out of the game by the sixth inning is very realistic, each time he takes the mound, especially opposing a great, and patient offense like the Yankees (We saw this in his last start against them, although it was a little ridiculous that night, as Matsuzaka is never quite that erratic). If he starts coming after the hitters, he will be fine. Occasionally, he will be roughed up by some bats, but he will also give up fewer baserunners over the long haul, and miss a few more bats too. I have said numerous times that Matsuzaka should and probably will be a “pretty good” pitcher. However, the only way he will be great, is if he starts to come right after the opposition. But nevertheless, he is still pitching pretty well so far tonight.
– Ortiz just awoke from his terrible slump. At least for an at bat. An opposite field grand slam, which was very unexpected. He jumped on the first pitch and took it over the monster, off of the now “removed from the game” Luis Mendoza. Who knows if this will lift Ortiz from the cellar, but it doesn’t hurt, and best of all it HELPS the team.
– Crazy game last night between the Padres and Rockies. But it seems to make a little more sense, if one were to think about it. A large, spacious park that is Petco, where it is difficult to hit the ball out. One great, and one good pitcher squaring off. A team in the Padres that isn’t exactly a great hitting team. And a team in the Rockies that isn’t exactly a great hitting team on the road. Two teams that had pretty good bullpens last season (It is too early to tell how good they are going to be this year). But of course no 22 inning affair makes much sense. I wish I could have caught some of it. Or maybe I don’t, I did have to work this morning.
– During last nights Red Sox-Yankees broadcast on YES Michael Kay and Al Leiter were discussing Mussina. Leiter defended Mussina, and stated that he can still have some success, even with an 86 or so MPH fastball. Kay basically disagreed, as he pointed out that Mussina didn’t do well, or more accurately, was pretty bad last season. And Kay had a point. But what I really think Leiter was getting at, is that it is possible for a pitcher to have some success with below average velocity on his fastball. See: Maddux. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Mussina will adapt to that. Leiter pointed out that it is all about location, and that is obvious. And it is easy to tell when Mussina misses his spots, because the ball just seems to travel very far. So I think in a sense, they could both have been right. Kay may be right in thinking that Mussina may not have “success,” so to speak, but there is the possibility that Kay should look at Mussina having “success” as him simply not being a terrible pitcher, on a team that has a great offense. But there is the possibility that Mussina is too “stubborn” as Leiter did put at another time in the game, and will never be effective again in any sense of the word.
My opinion is that Mussina still has a shot to be an effective fifth starter. But this may be the wrong league, and also the wrong division for him. I have never disliked Mussina, but I have never liked him either. He has just always worn the wrong uniform. But he may have to switch leagues if he wants to experience success again. But the guy has had a good career. Not a hall of famer in my opinion, but isn’t that far off either.
– 14 pitch inning for Daisuke. Which is a good sign. But he is at 95 pitches now, and will only pitch one more inning. But again, I cannot complain about the most important result of the short term..the one earned run in five innings on the mound.