Red Sox - 003 000 102 - 6 12 0(Updated with some stuff.)
Astros - 000 000 010 - 1 4 0
J.D. Drew gave the Sox an early lead with a three-run dong and Matsuzaka rebounded nicely (5-2-0-3-4, 87). The Red Sox became the first team to get to 50 games this year.
Dustin Pedroia had his 11th three-hit game of the season; he also walked and scored two runs. Kevin Youkilis collected four hits and Mike Lowell drove in two runs.
Craig Hansen pitched a perfect sixth (K, 5-3, F9) and Manny Delcarmen threw a perfect seventh (F9, 6-3, K). Hideki Ojakima retired the first two batters in the eighth (F8, F7), but then allowed a solo home run and a single. Jonathan Papelbon came on and got the last four outs (K, 5-3, F9, 6-3).
Tampa Bay beat Pittsburgh 10-5, so the Sox remain .5 GA. The Yankees split a home-and-home doubleheader with the Mets, getting routed in the Bronx 15-6 and blanking the Stems in Queens 9-0. In the second game, new Yankee starter Sidney Ponson allowed four hits and four walks in the first three inings, but somehow kept the Mets off the board. The MFY are now 6 GB.
Also: mlbtv was sputtering on our connection last night -- plus it was the FSN feed -- so we listened to the radio broadcast. Not bad, though I did notice that all of the various sponsorships and contests in the early innings prevented Castig from giving an updated count on the batter at various times. In the later innings, they were able to concentrate on baseball.
O'Brien is a good play-by-play man -- he says what he needs to say, with a nice amount of creativity and humour; he's way better than Castig -- but there was one thing that irked me. When Coco Crisp batted in the top of the fourth, after Castig said that "Hernandez is up to 73 pitches already", O'Brien noted, "Almost from the get-go, he's been falling behind everybody."
I looked at my scorecard and saw that Hernandez had been ahead of five of the first six Boston batters and had fallen behind only seven of 18. Hernandez -- making his first big league start since September 29, 2006 -- was throwing a lot of pitches (19-16-25-21-18 in his five innings), but 39% was not "everybody".
Daisuke Matsuzaka (3.46, 124 ERA+) / Runelvys Hernandez (6.48, 73 ERA+)
In Port aux Choix with a strong connection, beer in the fridge, and a 9:30 PM local start time. Perfect!
Dice's ERA jumped by nearly a full run (0.93) after his dreadful outing (1-6-7-3-1, 48) against the Cardinals last Saturday. SoSH asked: Did he come back from the DL too soon?