Sunday, September 21

Matsuzaka Magnificent in Red Sox Win

Daisuke Matsuzaka went 7 shut out innings as the Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays 3-0 in the rubber game of the series. With the win the Red Sox magic number is now 1 and they can clinch at least the Wild Card if the Yankees lose tonight in the final game in Yankee Stadium history.

Today's story was Dice K as he went 7 strong innings, allowing only 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6. Matsuzaka improved his record to 18-2 with the win and is sure to get some Cy Young consideration. It's a rough year to be up for the award with Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay having great seasons of their own.

Perhaps most important was Matsuzaka's ability to pitch economically and not run up a high pitch count early. Dice K threw 109 pitches over 7 innings which is something the Sox will need from him in October if they are going to have success.

David Ortiz hit his 22nd home run of the year and Jacoby Ellsbury was 3-4 with 2 runs scored. Ellsbury is returning to last Septembers form as he is currently on an 11 game hit streak.

Papelbon closed the door for his 40th save of the year; Okajima pitched a perfect 8th inning in relief.

Tampa Bay lost to the Twins 4-1, the sox are 1.5 games back, however they would need to finish 1 game ahead of the Rays since Tampa has the tie breaker. We'll wait to see if the Yankees win or lose tonight, but there's little question the Sox will make the playoffs this season. It's a question of when not if.

It's very ironic that the Yankees will not be playing in the post season in the final year of Yankee Stadium; a stadium that has seen 26 World Series titles and plenty of other October moments.


Anonymous said...

There was some expert survey last year just before the season where the Globe guys were giving their opinions on what Dice-K would do that season and what would be the ideal. The consensus was that the best-case scenario would be 15-17 wins the first season and 18-20 the second. That was the best-case. And yet I don't think you can deny that right now he's underrated. I understand pitch counts and efficiency are big concerns, but really, I'm not sure what more we could have asked for our of the first two seasons. Now, as to the playoffs, obviously the jury's still out. Go Sox.

D Vicino said...

I agree with the above comment about Dice-K, tough to argue what he's done for us so far, no matter how inefficient or frustrating he's been. He remains underrated.

Anyways, how fitting would it be for the Red Sox to clinch a playoff birth at the expense of the Yankees losing during the last game at the Stadium? Fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

Anyone want to start the debate as to the Sox fourth starter? Or should we wait until the Magic Number is up? I'm leaning towards Wake, but I could be persuaded.

D Vicino said...

I think it is an interesting argument that we'll have to have soon....i just can let myself do it until it's locked in....

to be continued then...

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