Daisuke Matsuzaka has been an absolute mystery this year. He had another shaky performance last Monday against the Yankees because of his signature “bad inning.” Last night in Philadelphia, not only did he escape having a bad inning, but he took a no-hitter into the 8th inning and the Red Sox won 5-0. One game he gives up four runs before even recording an out and the next he is pitching eight innings of hitless ball.
The night consisted of hard-hit after hard-hit and the defense continued to make stellar plays to protect Dice K’s hitless streak. But the irony of the night came on a soft, broken-bat flare by Juan Castro that flew inches over Marco Scutaro’s glove. And just like that, the no-hitter was over. “I think I was close but haven’t seen the replay. I know all the country of Japan hates me right now,’’ Scutaro said, smiling. “I just say, ‘Sorry! My bad!’ ’
He got plenty of help defensively last night. In the first inning, Dustin Pedroia robbed Chase Utley on a line drive when he made a leaping play. Later in fourth, Jeremy Hermida made a running catch at the base of the wall and robbed Utley of another hit.
In the sixth, Scutaro showed his range and gunned down Placido Polanco to end the inning. Matsuzaka helped his own cause by beating Shane Victorino to first base by a step and covering first on a grounder to David Ortiz.
The most talked about play of the evening was when Matsuzaka ended the seventh by snagging a powerful line drive by Jayson Werth that clearly was headed for center field. ”I saw the ball so I put my glove out but I didn’t actually think I would make the catch,” Matsuzaka said. “It was at that point that my teammates thought maybe I had a chance.” Jason Varitek said that was the hardest hit ball he has ever since a pitcher catch.
In the eighth, Adrian Beltre robbed Carlos Ruiz of a hit, with a diving play to his left and proceeded to double off Raul Ibanez at first.
They were just four outs away when Juan Castro hit his bloop single over Marco Scutaro and just like that, the excitement was over.
Dice K finished the night walking four batters and striking out five. He has had five outings this year and two of them have been outstanding. In three games he has faltered and had catastrophic innings giving up a total of 15 runs in those innings, but aside from that he has pitched quite well.
It’s good to see him step up during a time the rotation needs him. With Becket back out of the line up and Lackey still not finding his groove, the Sox will continue to rely on Dice K to dominate on the mound.
The question is…Which Dice K will show up next game?
About the Author
Written by "Baseball Brenda" Sepanek
I was born a sports fan. Playing soccer, basketball and softball in high school, then moving on to play Div. II softball at Keene State on partial scholarship. In 2003, our team was inducted into the Keene State Hall of Fame. GO OWLS! I am a die hard Red Sox, Patriots and UNC Tar Heel hoop fan. Most of my friends call me Baseball Brenda because when it comes to ranking my priorities in life, the Red Sox always are first on the list. I average about 40 games a year and I have attended every home playoff game since moving back to MA in 2005. I am super competitive and excel at anything you can win at :) Horseshoes, ping pong, darts, pool, cornhole, and bowling. Always love a good challenge. I play a lot of golf in the summer and a lot of fantasy sports. I am always looking to meet local Sox fans so look me up on Facebook.