Dice-K: Get screwed by the Sox offense, local press

August 23rd, 2007 → 4:22 pm @ // 12 Comments

St. PETERSBURG, Fla. — This certainly isn’t what the Red Sox expected when they shelled out $100 million, give or take a nickel, to obtain the services of Daisuke Matsuzaka.

They didn’t expect him to be 13-10, just three games over .500 on a team that is 25 games over. And they didn’t expect him to be 1-3 against the Devil Rays, the worst team in the AL East, especially when the rest of the Boston pitching staff is 8-1 against Tampa Bay.

But this is the 2007 reality of Dice-K, who still has lots of time left on his contract, and who has really pitched a bit better than that 13-10 record indicates.”

Sox leave ’em stranded
By Bill Balou
August 23, 2007
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette

“A bit better”? Let’s go to the tape.

D. Matsuzaka 2007 stats

IP: 170.0, tops on Red Sox, 9th in AL
K’s: 172, tops on Red Sox, 4th in AL (Kazmir, currently third with 176, has started one more game)
K/9: 9.11, tops among Red Sox starters, 3rd on team (trailing Papelbon and Gagne), 4th in AL*
WHIP: 1.16, 2nd among Sox starters, trailing Beckett’s 1.10, 15th in AL*
ERA: 3.76, 2nd among Sox starters, trailing Beckett’s 3.15, 16th in AL*

So on a team with the second best ERA (1st in AL), the 3rd best BAA (1st in AL), and the 5th most strikeouts (2nd in AL), Dice-K is, without a doubt, the team’s 2nd best starter (in addition to being an inning eater). I’d agree that this certainly isn’t what the Sox expected; in fact, I’d guess that they expected he’d end the year with something like 14 wins and an ERA hovering around 4.


Post Categories: 2007 Season & Daisuke Matsuzaka & Sports Reporters

12 Comments → “Dice-K: Get screwed by the Sox offense, local press”


  1. rln2433

    10 years ago

    That’s what I love about the media, mass ignorance. Dice-K didn’t sign with Boston thinking that his team would sell him out on run support. A good AB by Tek, Drew or Youkilis last night and he doesn’t lose the game. If Gag Me doesn’t meltdown in Baltimore, he wins that game. A few other times if his teammates had decided to show up and play he’s leading the team in wins.

    Still the same pitcher though….

    Reply

  2. Jack

    10 years ago

    Billy…billy, billy, billy…

    Billy Barou.

    Reply

  3. george

    10 years ago

    In no matter what we each try to do it’s important to stay true to ourselves, particularly when embarking on some new challenge – in that vein I think DM has been a great success. My biggest reservation with him was the fear that coaching would alter his approach and encourage him to use his fastball more to setup his junk(you know the typical american league get ahead throw the splitter routine). Instead, I think he, Tek and Farrell have done a great job of using his junk to setup the fastball – even at the expense of his pitch count. End result, you see a lot of late swings on a low 90’s fastball, which is pure joy to those of us who pitched without lighting up a juggs gun. Arguably, on 5 days rest he is the Sox’s best pitcher. I am really looking forward to his matchup next week against the yanks, given their lineup’s plate discipline it will be a big challenge. I do love watching him pitch, plus it’s a total hoot watching Tek put down 5 fingers, I don’t ever remember seeing that before.

    Reply

  4. redsoxrantsfromchina

    10 years ago

    Let’s not forget Dice-K is only 26 years old and in his first big league season with all of the adjustments that entails for any player–not to mention a Japanese pitcher. Let’s also not forget he was generally picked by the so called experts to win 14 games. I don’t think anyone expected him to finish as high as second in the AL in Ks which is where he will probably end up.

    Reply

  5. tinisoli

    10 years ago

    JESUS that Balou piece is awful. Anyone who has watched the games or even perused the game logs understands that Daisuke should be at least 16-7. And there’s no arguing that he is second only to Beckett in terms of dominant performances on this talented staff. Only a moron would look at a pitcher’s record to figure out whether or not he’s been doing his job. I think we can see that a) Daisuke’s teammates have let him down in more than half of his starts, and b) he’s going through a lot of adjustments (country, league, less rest, new language, etc.) But despite those two things working against him, he’s still incredibly effective on most days and he gives his team a chance to win every time he takes the mound. Why isn’t anyone writing that Schilling is not giving the Sox what they hoped he would despite making $13 million this year?

    Reply

  6. TupeloJoe

    10 years ago

    ESPN’s Jayson Stark started this season tracking what he calls “Criminally Unsupported Starts”. In his Insider Blog entry from August 16th, Dice-K was leading the AL with 9 CUS starts, tied with Kansas City’s Gil Meche.

    He defined CUS as “a game in which a pitcher goes at least six innings, but his offense scores no more than one run while he’s in the game.”

    He throws this tidbit later on.

    “Matsuzaka’s record is 13-9. In games where he gets “normal” support or better, however, he’s 11-3. If he’d gotten four runs of support in his CUS games (while he was out there) instead of one or none, he’d be 17-4.”

    It’s a shame Bill Ballou is holding on the outdated idea that number of wins is an accurate reflection of how well a pitcher is pitching.

    Reply

  7. rln2433

    10 years ago

    If there is anything to rag on Dice-K for is his lack of command on some of his pitches. I do believe that it is hard to command more than 3 pitches but he and Tek seem to call pitches that he cannot get over for strikes. A bit more focus on his curve and a change up/slider and he will be even better which will result in lower pitch counts early on in the game and him making it into the 7th and 8th regularly.

    Also, if he can rid of the mid-game funk that he tends to go into where he forgets where the strike zone that would also help.

    Lastly, he should pull JD Drew to the side and explain something about the Warrior’s Code from olden times in Japan and how failure was handled by the offender.

    Reply

  8. ElephantMan

    10 years ago

    When Matsuzaka-San is on his game, he’s pretty thrilling to watch. However, he does seem to have occasional bouts of wildness that can be very frustrating as a spectator, whether he’s in your fantasy rotation or not.

    I may be nuts, but I wonder if his control problems all boil down to the weather, sweat, and stitches. We’ve been told that the Japanese baseballs are much easier to grip, in that the stitches stick out quite a bit more than in the states. I’m thinking that in the innings where he has his meltdowns, there’s some change in the weather conditions in whatever ballpark he’s pitching in, which increases his sweat, which impacts his grip.

    He would not have had that kind of problem in Japan, as the entire country has somewhat similar weather patterns, and the balls are easier to grip.

    I hold a similar opinion on Wakefield; barometric pressure and wind speed/direction play a much bigger role in his success than they do with any other pitcher in MLB. Well, except for the two Knuckle Charlies; Zink and Haeger.

    Thoughts?
    TEM

    Reply

  9. tinisoli

    10 years ago

    ElephantMan,
    Are you suggesting that in the innings in which Daisuke walks 2-3 batters are innings in which the weather changes dramatically? That seems unlikely. It’s not like it suddenly gets 10 degrees hotter in the 2nd and then cools back down in the 3rd, even in places like Boston where the weather can change abruptly. Yes, the atmospheric pressure and the presence of wind affects a knuckleball, but with Daisuke’s pitches it doesn’t matter a whole lot what’s going on with the air. Judging by what Daisuke himself has said, his troubles are mental and he just can’t find the strike zone in those moments. The differences in baseballs may have something to do with it, but if that were much of an issue you’d think he’d be consistently wild. If anything, his bouts with wildness seem like a rookie thing. Lester sometimes gets into the same kind of trouble.

    It’ll be fun to see how Daisuke progresses. If he gets better with age he should be in the running for 20 wins and the Cy Young year after year.

    Reply

  10. george

    10 years ago

    In the innings he’s had problems I just think he loses his confidence. When he has his good fastball he’s 94-96ish on his four seamer which seems to come around better on 5 days rest. If he starts falling behind with his off speed stuff and he doesn’t have his good fastball he gets hit hard, real hard – Seattle home, Detroit home and Tampa Bay home last week come to mind. The fact that he tends to have one bad inning I think is more mechanical than environmentally related. DM has a bad habit, like a lot of pitchers, of rushing his delivery, thus letting his front shoulder open up and he loses his command. Remember at the beginning of the season some announcers made a big deal about how he wasn’t as good out of the stretch, but that wasn’t really the issue – it was more that he was rushing his motion and his shoulder flew open and he was throwing side to side rather than downhill. I think his little hesitation on the windup is his self help key to staying back and not rushing. Watch Tek, if he sees DM rushing he will point to or tap his left shoulder and point to his head. Note also how much better DM seems to be the next few innings after his bad inning, they obviously have a much easier time communicating with him in the dugout between innings. DM’s on his own out there without anyone to communicate with and I just think his confidence suffers. I also think this will go away with time as he gains experience against major league batters.

    george

    Reply

  11. mkp

    10 years ago

    Congratulations on the wedding. Saw the announcement in Chass’ employer.

    Reply

  12. tinisoli

    10 years ago

    I’d like to echo the congratulations, but I’m curious to know if having the announcement in the Times made you feel, I don’t know, gross? I’ve always found those announcements to be sickeningly focused on where one went to school or what one’s parents do for a living. Blech.

    Reply

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