April 23, 2011

Matsuzaka Is Third Pitcher In Red Sox History To Have Two Straight Starts of 7+ Innings And Only 1 Hit Allowed

Updated with 2 quotes

Only three pitchers in Red Sox history have had back-to-back outings of at least seven innings with only one hit allowed.

Howard Ehmke, 1923
                           IP  H  R  BB  K  BF  PIT  Game
September 7 at Athletics:   9  0  0   1  1  28       Won 4-0
September 11 at Yankees:    9  1  0   1  5  29       Won 3-0
Pedro Martinez, 2002
                           IP  H  R  BB  K  BF  PIT  Game
April 19 at Royals:         8  1  0   0  6  26   92  Won 4-0
April 25 at Orioles:        7  1  0   1 10  24  103  Won 7-0 
Daisuke Matsuzaka, 2011
                           IP  H  R  BB  K  BF  PIT  Game
April 18 vs Blue Jays:      7  1  0   1  3  23   89  Won 9-1
April 23 at Angels:         8  1  0   3  9  28  115  Won 5-0
In addition to pitching a no-hitter, Ehmke went 2-for-4. In the second game, he went 3-for-4, getting half of Boston's six hits.

(Vicente Padilla was the last major league pitcher to have two consecutive starts of 7+ innings and one hit allowed: May 5 and 10, 2009.)
It's time to revisit a couple of quotes:

Peter Abraham, Globe, April 12:
Trading [Daisuke Matsuzaka] would not be easy. ... But it has to be done.

[T]here's not a shred of evidence to suggest Matsuzaka will be a reliable pitcher in the AL East any time soon. ... The Red Sox would be a better team with somebody else in the rotation. ...

[A]t this point putting him in a game is counterproductive to winning. ... [I]t's just not working for anybody.
Chad Finn, Globe, April 12:
Last night's masterpiece [2-8-7-2-2 vs the Rays] was Daisuke Matsuzaka's 100th start for the Red Sox. ... I'd just as soon he not make start No. 101 for the Red Sox. Not just three days from now. Not three months from now. Not three years from now. ...

He has to go. ... I don't come to this conclusion easily. I try to avoid opining in lockstep with the sports radio conventional wisdom of the day. The panic button is usually well out of my reach. ...

[H]ere's the dirty truth about Dice-K: He's not just maddening or inconsistent. He's plain lousy ... He's just terrible, and any cure for this prolonged terribleness seems unfathomable ...


Amy said...

If he keeps this up, I will gladly eat my hat.

Zenslinger said...

See, if I knew Chad Finn, I'd give him a hard time about "terribleness".

Jake of All Trades said...

There's also this quote from Dice after the Tampa game:

"I watched a video after the game and I noticed a clear difference between when I pitch well and bad," Matsuzaka said. "There's something to fix."

When I first read that at the time it felt like lip service, but looks like he might have really found something...

Anonymous said...

So Finn says:

"I try to avoid opining in lockstep with the sports radio conventional wisdom of the day."

But in his April 19th column about Jed Lowrie, Finn says:

Lowrie, despite some perceptions, does not belong alongside Sam Fuld on the 2011 Gritty Gutty All-Stars, as chosen by select fans and media members desperate for their next Eckstein and wondering whatever became of Bo Hart.

So Finn thinks he's different than Joe-Blow-Sports-Writer? Interesting. Let me translate his language for the uninitiated. When Finn says "gritty" he means "white player who falls down a lot." When was the last time a sports writer referred to a non-white player as "gritty"? When a Latin player doesn't hustle, he's "lazy." When it's Chipper Jones, he "must be hurting." When Cecil Fielder almost eats his way out of the game, he's "fat, lazy, and a waste of talent." When John Kruk does the same, he's simply "old school."

Finn's language, like 99% of sportswriters, is hypocritical if not downright boring. And for him to opine as if he is different... is just plain silly.

laura k said...

In my experience, everyone thinks he/she is different. No one thinks they are victims of groupthink or influenced by advertising or media.

No one wants to admit he's a sheep. Let alone a racist!

Crosby Kenyon said...

You throw the Dice out there, you take your chances. At the very least, he currently appears a little easier to trade.