April 5th, 2007
Before we get all caught up in the brouhaha that is Daisuke’s (I refuse to use the “cutesy spelling of his name–“Dice-K”) start, we need to acknowledge that Josh Beckett as pretty amazing last night. Throwing 94 pitches over 5 innings, he ended up only allowing 1 run on 2 hits, walking 4 and striking out 5–but NO HOME RUNS–the 2 hits were doubles… I wish he could have went a bit deeper and was a bit more economical with his pitches, but part of that was the weather–it was 42, which was a 35+ degree temp drop from opening day. Says Josh:. “I threw sinkers that almost slipped out, almost like a dry spitter. ‘Tek was catching those balls, but some of ’em he didn’t even know where they were going.” There was also the fact that Josh threw more balls (48) than strikes (46) in his 5 innings of work. Also contributing was Mike Lowell who had TWO errors in the time Josh was in the game–both in the same inning.
Speaking of Mike Lowell–Do you know how many errors he has all last season? 6. Do you know how many he has last night? 3. And entering this season, the Gold Glover (Should have won it for last season as well…) is the all-time fielding percentage leader at third base.
Let’s also acknowledgeÂ the contribution of the much abused bullpen(how sad is it that this bullpen is maligned after 2 games? Hell, they have been on the chopping block before they threw a pitch this year…). Javier Lopez, Kyle Snyder, J.C. Romero, and Joel Pineiro combined to throw 1-hit ball over 4 innings in last nights game. How cool is it that the bullpen currently has a stellar 2.25–and Jonathan Papelbon has not thrown a pitch? Some words from Ky Sny, who threw a scoreless/hitless inning and a third last night: “It’ll help establish confidence in ourselves as well as in our manager. I think we have an outstanding bullpen. We’re talented and we’re fearless. It’s just a matter of time before we get our roles established.”
Reunited: Two of the most popular Red Sox players will meet up tonight–but on the minor league level. Gabe Kapler will make his debut as manager of the Single A Greenville Drive–with Jon Lester as his starter. This will be Jon’s 1st start of 4 at this level, as he continues his rehab and moves towards rejoining the rotation for the Red Sox.
Coming up: Red Sox Nation finally gets to see if the man lives up to the hype, when Daisuke Matsuzaka takes the hill for his 1st start as a member of the Sox–and of his major league career…and I although I never TiVo games, I will be TiVo-ing this one, as the game begins in less than an hour at 2:10 today (figures) and I already left work early once this week…. I just really want to see this guy pitch! But I guess it could be worse–in his native Japan, 1st pitch is 3:00am, Friday morning.
And at least he will get a preview of what its like to pitch in Boston in April–today’s game temperature, with the wind chill, will be about 36 degrees…Think warm thoughts!