Japanese pitching star Daisuke Matsuzaka has become a 5-inning pitcher who could use a 7-day rotation.
Daisuke Matsuzaka reminds me of Pedro Martinez. And not in a good way. Pedro had the knack of throwing a ton of pitches and losing close games that he couldn’t complete, especially towards the end of his Red Sox career. I’m sure we can all think of at least one game that Pedro could not complete.
Is Dice-K heading down the same path that Pedro took? Only a decade earlier? Dice-K is busy losing to the Yankees tonight in the first of three games in the Bronx. It’s an all-too-familiar theme. Dice-K pitches OK for about five innings, throws a ton of pitches, and has to come out of the game.
I know, the game is not over, but check out the game-by-game stats for Daisuke Matsuzaka:
- In April and May, Dice-K was 7-3, and the Red Sox were 8-3 in his starts (winning his one no-decision).
- Since June, Dice-K is 6-7, and the Red Sox were 6-9 in his starts (losing his two no-decisions).
- Dice-K has has not won two consecutive starts since June.
- Dick-K has not won at all since 08/04.
I lack confidence when Dice-K is on the mound. And I don’t think I’m alone.
Here are the summaries of Dice-K’s losing performances since June:
- 2007-06-05 – Athletics 2, Red Sox 0. “Dice-K turns in quality outing, but Sox muster just three hits.”
- 2007-06-10 – Diamondbacks 5, Red Sox 1. “Dice-K allowed two runs and struck out nine over six innings.”
- 2007-06-27 – Mariners 2, Red Sox 1. “Daisuke Matsuzaka fanned eight batters and allowed just one run over eight dazzling innings.”
- 2007-07-08 – Tigers 6, Red Sox 5. “Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed a season-high six runs and three long balls in five innings.”
- 2007-07-19 – White Sox 4, Red Sox 2. “Daisuke Matsuzaka yielded just two hits and three runs, but he struggled with his control over five-plus innings.”
- 2007-07-29 – Devil Rays 5, Red Sox 2. “Matsuzaka gave up eight hits and two runs over 6 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out six.”
- 2007-08-10 – Orioles 6, Red Sox 5. “Dice-K struck out seven batters to set a new Boston rookie record with 159 punchouts this season and held Baltimore in check just as he has done to opposing offenses all season. But after he matched Bedard’s 7 2/3 lights-out innings and left the game, the low-scoring nail-biter became a hit parade.”
- 2007-08-15 – Devil Rays, Red Sox 5. “Daisuke Matsuzaka was off his game, as the right-hander gave up six runs during his six innings of work.”
- 2007-08-22 – Devil Rays 2, Red Sox 1. “Dice-K struck out eight and walked four over six innings as his record fell to 13-10.”
Apologists will point out that Dice-K was “out-pitched” in these games. Or didn’t get the “run support.” But notice how he lost a bunch of close games to bad teams. Great pitchers don’t get “out-pitched.” Great pitchers don’t worry about “run support.” I seem to recall that Pedro often lost close games to bad teams. Or got “out-piched” or lacked “run support.” But not when he was in his prime.
Should the Sox put Dice-K on the DL? Move to a 7-man rotation? I think that Dice-K is out of gas.