Everything went to the middle of the plate. ... seven balls hit right on the barrel. We love when guys throw strikes, but there were balls that were middle-middle to the first seven hitters. Tonight, he was right down the middle.Tito was blunt, and correct.
The Rays never had scored 16 runs against the Red Sox. They beat Boston 15-9 on July 24, 2003, and 14-5 on both May 9, 2009 and September 7, 2010.
Tampa Bay scored a whopping 44% (16 of 36) of their total runs last night. ... After scoring 20 times in their first nine games, they nearly doubled that total last night. ... Six of the Rays' 18 doubles were hit last night. ... Nearly one-third of their extra-base hits this year (9 of 29) were in last night's game. ... Tampa Bay raised its team batting by 38 points (.163 to .201) and team slugging percentage by 63 points (.284 to .347).
trade Matsuzaka, though it would be a strict salary dump and
would not be easy. The Red Sox would have to eat a bunch of money [Dice is due roughly $20 million] and they probably wouldn't get much back for him, maybe just a couple of mid-level prospects.Steve Buckley adds: "[I]t's quite possible that no Red Sox player in recent memory was booed as badly as Matsuzaka was last night.
But it has to be done.
Matsuzaka is 13-14 with a 5.34 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP over the last three seasons. That includes going 0-4 with a 7.54 ERA in his last seven starts. ...
[Trading him] would cost them a lot of money, but at this point putting him in a game is counterproductive to winning.
I would not be annoyed if Matsuzaka was no longer on the team, but there is no way Theo Epstein -- who understands a sunk cost -- will trade him now. Making such a drastic decision a mere 11 days into a six-month season would be done purely out of panic, a reaction based not on logic but to appease the yowling portion of the fan base who wants the GM to do something. That is the exact opposite of Epstein's successful way of doing business.
Matsuzaka had a below league-average 93 ERA+ last year, but among American League fifth starters, that would have ranked as 2nd best (Jake Peavy of the White Sox was at 94). He'll get a few more starts -- and if the dismal outings continue, he may develop an "injury".