Tigers - 300 000 002 - 5 7 1Good work in my absence! I had an overnight sleep apnea appointment. No matter what the circumstances are, Lowell as a pinch-runner is hilarious. Now off to find some video. (Fuckin' Jays...)
Red Sox - 031 020 10x - 7 7 1
Rick Porcello (4.30, 106 ERA+) / Junichi Tazawa (10.80, 44 ERA+)
Tazawa, 23, makes his first major league start (and second major league appearance).
A year ago, he's pitching in the (amateur) Industrial League in Japan, and a year later he's pitched at Yankee Stadium and now Fenway Park. ... He doesn't seem too overnervous or that out of sorts with where he is. ... His stuff's good enough where, if he throws strikes, he should be fine.After a fantastic spring training -- 12 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts -- Tazawa started the 2009 season in AA Portland. In 18 Sea Dogs starts, he posted a 2.57 ERA. He made two starts for Pawtucket (2.38 ERA) before being called up last Thursday. (There's lots of good info in SoSH's Adopt A Prospect thread for Tazawa; and here.)
He showed tremendous poise at Yankee Stadium and although he took the loss, it's was tough to be disappointed with his performance. Elias Sports Bureau says Tazara became the first pitcher in history to make his major league debut against the Yankees in extra innings.
The last Red Sox pitcher to make his debut in extras was Phil Seibel, who pitched in the 11th inning against Baltimore on April 15, 2004. Seibel made his second -- and last -- major league appearance three days later against the Yankees. (But he's got a World Series ring!)
Tazawa will also be the second-youngest Japanese pitcher to start a major league game:
Player Team Yrs/Days First startA Globe article from June mentioned that Tazawa studies English for three hours a day, four times a week. "I'm not smart, so it takes time."
Masanori Murakami Giants 21 / 101 8/15/65 vs Phillies
Junichi Tazawa Red Sox 23 / 66 8/11/09 vs Tigers
Mac Suzuki Mariners 23 / 94 9/ 2/98 vs Red Sox
Tomo Ohka Red Sox 23 / 123 7/19/99 vs Marlins
Porcello, 20, pitched against the Red Sox on June 2: 4.1-8-3-1-2. Before that start, he had a 3.48 ERA. Since then, it's 4.91.
7 PM: Blue Jays/Yankees. Dear Blue Jays: Pounding Chamberlain is Job(a) 1.