Rays - 160 113 004 - 16 20 1 Red Sox - 001 100 111 - 5 10 1It was a nightmare evening for the Red Sox, as Tampa Bay nearly matched its runs scored total for their previous nine games (20).
The 1-8 team that began the day with a MLB-worst team OPS of .516 (.163/.232/.284) raked Matsuzaka (2-8-7-2-2, 47) over the coals in the second, as the first seven batters reached base. Terry Francona allowed Dice to start the third, but after a single and a walk, Tito went to the pen; his walk to the mound drew perhaps the loudest cheers of the night. The Rays later smacked Tim Wakefield and former Rays reliever Dan Wheeler around.
It's not worth rehashing any of what happened in this game -- I don't want to write it and you don't want to read it -- but I will point out that Boston's first two hits were triples from Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz.
Jeremy Hellickson / Daisuke Matsuzaka
Hellickson, who turned 24 three days ago, is the rookie right-hander that the Rays (1-8) hope will take Matt Garza's place in the rotation. Baseball Prospectus 2011 ranked Hellickson as the #9 prospect:
Hellickson doesn't have the kind of raw stuff that normally lands a player in the top 10, but he's hardly a finesse pitcher. His fastball, curve, and changeup are all at least a tick above average, but it's what he does with his arsenal that is so special. There are decade-plus veterans who don't have Hellickson's polish, as he varies the movement of his fastball and places all of his offerings in the strike zone with laser-like precision. The Rays will find a way to get him to the big leagues this year, and some scouts have already broken an unwritten rule by comparing him to a young Greg Maddux.Hellickson made his 2011 debut on April 6 against the Angels: 5.2-6-3-2-10, 99. He allowed single runs in three separate innings. "I obviously need to throw my fastball more. I fell in love with my curveball a little bit too much last game." Last year, on September 7, Hellickson allowed three runs in 1.2 innings of relief against Boston.
Last Wednesday in Cleveland, Matsuzaka allowed three runs in five innings, while throwing 96 pitches. (WEEI preview of tonight's game)
The Orioles (6-3) and Yankees (5-4) begin a series in New York tomorrow. The Blue Jays (5-4) are in Seattle tonight.
Details of Clay Buchholz's new contract:
2011: $550,000 (+ $1 million signing bonus)
2012: $3.5 million
2013: $5.5 million
2014: $7.7 million
2015: $12 million
2016: $13 million team option (or $245,000 buyout)
2017: $13.5 million team option (or $500,000 buyout)
(2017 option increases to $14 million if Buchholz finishes either first or second in Cy Young voting during the contract.)