May 19, 2011

Sox Hope Matsuzaka Can Avoid Surgery

Daisuke Matsuzaka said the MRI results on his right elbow - "a sprained ulnar collateral ligament and strain to his common flexor mass" - were worse than he expected.
It's difficult to hold [the ball] and throw with this kind of pain. I usually have high tolerance for pain.
The team does not think surgery to reconstruct the ligament (i.e., Tommy John surgery) is necessary, but Terry Francona said the idea that Dice could begin throwing a ball in two weeks is "probably ambitious". Which means Matsuzaka - who wants to get a second opinion on his elbow - will miss roughly two months, putting his return after the All-Star break.

Peter Gammons reports that the Red Sox have asked free agent pitcher Kevin Millwood if he would sign a minor league contract. Millwood opted out of his minor league deal with the Yankees on May 1.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who drove in the only run in last night's game, had nothing but praise for pitchers Clay Buchholz and Johnathan Papelbon:
[Buchholz] was on tonight. He's been on the last three starts I've caught him. Had that sinker working, keeping the ball down. A lot of his pitches were foul balls. ... He still gave us strong innings and got us what we needed. ... Pap has been lights out. He's got a lot on that fastball. He worked a lot in spring training on mechanics and staying behind the ball. The ball is just flying out of his hand. He's controlling where he wants to put it. ...

[Papelbon] worked on his mechanics and stayed behind the ball. Getting great backspin. He's not a movement guy, throws a four-seamer with a split and a slider. When it comes out of his hand, it picks up a second gear. ... It's a pitch that looks so good at your waist, and he hides the ball real well and then it picks up that second gear with a late finish.
Alex Speier writes that the Red Sox have now had an MLB-leading 11 games this year in which the starting pitcher has not allowed a run.

They had 19 such games last year and 21 in 2009. However, in 41 of the 93 seasons for which searchable data exists (since 1919), the Red Sox did not have even 10 such games. The 1964 Angels set the record with 34 "shutout starts". At their current pace, the 2011 Red Sox would finish with 42.

1 comment:

FenFan said...

...the Red Sox have now had an MLB-leading 11 games this year in which the starting pitcher has not allowed a run.

That's even more amazing when you consider that the team has 22 wins to date this season.