July 20, 2010

Matsuzaka Alters Pre-Game Routine

Before his last two starts, Daisuke Matsuzaka has changed his pre-game routine in an attempt to stop allowing so many first-inning runs.

In his first 11 starts this year, Dice allowed 16 runs, with opponents OPSing over 1.000. (After the first, he's fine; in all 13 starts this season, Matsuzaka has allowed only one second-inning run and one third-inning run.)

John Farrell:
Three starts ago, [he] felt like it might be worth changing up how much throwing he did at 6:15 basically for a 7:15 game with about a 12- or 14-minute cool-down period. At that time it seemed like it took him a full inning to really kind of get into the rhythm of the game. So he went back to a pregame routine that was reminiscent of 2007, and it's allowed him to throw early in the day, not as many throws in total long-toss and bullpen work leading up to the start of the game. His warm-ups end about seven or eight minutes prior to the game, so it's allowed him to maintain a rhythm that he develops in the bullpen warming up and carries into the game.
It has worked. He gave up a one-out double against the Blue Jays on July 11 and retired the A's in order last night.

Over his last nine starts, beginning with his no-hit bid against the Phillies on May 22, Matsuzaka has a 2.89 ERA. Walks are still an issue (opponents have a .312 OBP over that time), but they are hitting only .206 and slugging .289.

Matsuzaka threw first-pitch strikes to each of the first nine batters (!) and 12 of the first 14.

Kevin Cash:
He was able to throw strikes with every pitch that he has, he even broke out his changeup [7, according to Brooks] that he hasn't used that much recently and it was pretty effective for him. When he can get that cut fastball in to lefties and then just getting ahead with his fastball down and away to righties, he's going to have good outings.
Since Victor Martinez went on the DL, Red Sox catchers are batting .132 (7-for-53). Cash is 4-for-34 (.118, all singles). FWIW: The Red Sox have a team ERA of 4.20 in the 10 games Cash has started, compared to 4.33 for the season.

The Red Sox have averaged 3.9 runs over their last 12 games -- and that includes a 14-3 win over the Blue Jays. They have scored 33 runs in the other 11 games, and gone 3-8.

Mike Lowell received a cortisone shot in his right hip yesterday and will begin a rehab stint of at least four games with Pawtucket on Thursday. ... Jeremy Hermida went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts for the PawSox last night. He will play again tonight and join the Sox in Seattle.

Since blowing two saves to the Rockies on June 23-24, Jonathan Papelbon has allowed only one hit in 7.1 innings, with six strikeouts. Daniel Bard has not given up a run in his last 12 outings (12.1 innings).


tim said...

Off-topic, but I've started the Rogers complaint process on Extra Innings/Super Sports Pack. I WILL get answers to my questions.

Step 1 - Contact Customer Care

I'm sure they'll give me some bullshit response, meaning I'll quickly move on to Step 2 - Escalate Your Complaint.

No doubt that won't result in anything useful, meaning we'll be on to Step 3 - Contact the Office of the President. I'm sure some co-op student will spit out some garbage to me about the CRTC at this point, meaning if I'm still not satisified I move on to the final step.

Step 4 - Contact the Ombudsman.

I'm looking forward to getting some answers about Rogers complete ineptitude towards this sports pack. Mr. Ombudsman better not dick me around.

I'll probably start documenting this somewhere.

redsock said...

What is the problem? No HD? No NESN?

tim said...

Biggest issue was the Texas game going past 10pm yesterday, and them just flat out NOT showing the Sox in HD, despite there being 3 unused NBA HD channels.

I also inquired about showing both teams feeds on some of the 1,000 channels, many of which are unused, that appear on my guide.

Even if I get what I assume is the real answer - "We make more money by screwing the customer over by only showing 3 games in HD because its cheaper for us" - that's fine by me. I just want someone to admit it.

redsock said...

I believe there have been a couple of times (maybe more and I don't know it) when they have shown both feeds for one game (on the EI channels).

I hate Rogers, but I keep meaning to tell them I like how often they do show NESN when the Jays are off or out west or played during the day.

tim said...

Yeah, I do enjoy that. Even when the Jays are playing, they throw NESN on the East feed. Sucks for Jays fans in Ottawa/Quebec/Maritimes!

Zenslinger said...

I have an extra ticket to tomorrow's day game in Oakland if anyone in the Bay Area is interested.

L-girl said...

Tim, excellent consumer action! Keep us posted. As a suggestion, you could easily start a blog to keep everything documented. Other dissatsified customers (there are many!) might find it and share stories and results.

tim said...

Yeah, thats what I was thinking. I've seen many stories of consumer action get picked up on major blogsd, then end up on digg and other social media outlets, causing the company to receive a ton of mail from people demanding answers, forcing them to become accountable.

Not that that's going to happen here, but, might submit the story to some of the bigger 'consumer watch' blogs if I don't get answers!

L-girl said...

After Allan's post about MLB was picked up by Boing Boing, he got a phone call from MLB.

I also got customer satisfaction from both Zip.ca and Heys luggage after writing about them on wmtc and sending them the post.

Companies can't afford to let bad publicity go viral.

Benjamin said...

He was able to throw strikes with every pitch that he has, he even broke out his changeup [7, according to Brooks]

Just to be clear, Brooks is only aggregating Gameday data on pitch classifications. He isn't making separate determinations.