Saturday, September 08, 2007

Should Tito Rest Dice-K?

Daisuke Matsuzaka looked positively awful again on Saturday night, and got whacked by the lowly, slumping Baltimore Orioles, as he blew a 4-1 lead given to him and the Red Sox went on to lose, 11-5.

He could not control his fastball, and walked in two runs in the third inning. He allowed home runs to those "sluggers" Tike Redman and Scott Moore (both hit their first home runs of 2007), with Moore's being a grand slam. Once again, Daisuke had that one bad inning that cost him the game, as he allowed seven runs in the third before departing. (Jim Palmer tonight pointed out that this was his 8th time this season that he's allowed four or more runs in an inning. Not good.)

Daisuke has been simply terrible since his August 15th start at Fenway against Tampa Bay. Here are the brutal numbers:

Sep 8
@BAL L 2.2 innings, 6 hits, 8 runs, 2 HR, 3 BB, 2 K

Sep 3
TOR W 5.1 innings, 10 hits, 7 runs, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 K

Aug 28
@ NYY L 6.1 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs, 2 HR, 3 BB, 2 K

Aug 22
@ TAM L 6.0 innings, 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 HR, 1 BB, 8 K

Aug 15
TAM L 6.0 innings, 8 hits, 6 runs, 0 HR, 3 BB, 5 K

That is an absolutely abominable ERA of 9.62 in his last five starts. He was sensational in July and mid-August. But now he has come crashing down to earth, and you have to wonder if he has indeed hit a wall as I suggested after his last start. I really don't think he's hiding an injury, but the workload he's had this season may have finally caught up with him. The Japanese season is shorter, and he had more rest between starts.

So now Terry Francona has a big decision to make. Daisuke's next scheduled start is this coming Friday night against New York at Fenway. Even the Orioles announcers tonight suggested that it maybe time to give him a rest. The off-day this Thursday for the Red Sox could mean that they could move Josh Beckett to start the Yankee series, and also move Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield up in the rotation.

Daisuke right now does not look like a pitcher ready for the postseason. Watching this performance tonight, I was reminded how shaky Pedro Martinez was going into the 2004 postseason, as he had some lousy starts in September as well. But he wasn't getting hit this hard.

Francona has a tough decision to make going into next weekend. Matsuzaka looks like he needs a rest, and now. The Sox need him for the postseason. He simply can't keep giving them putrid performances like he's been doing the last three weeks.


Peter N said...

Insightful comments....did you read the Buckley piece in the Herald? It was great, and dealt with the same possibility...should Dice pitch in the postseason? I linked it on my blog, or you can go directly there. Have a great Sunday....we have to win today. A split of a 4 game series with the O's is just NOT acceptable.
Hey, the BRUCE show sold out in 9 minutes at the Hartford Civic Center. I couldn't find anything on Ticketmaster, even during the first moments. But I have other ways for those "perfect" seats. I will be there, for the 55th Bruce and the band show of my life.

Peter N said...

And I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's a tough decision at all. Rest him. Put in Tavarez if you have to. Without effective starting pitching in the playoffs, the Sox have essentially no shot, because we've ALL seen how easily their offense can be completely shut off.

Michael Leggett said...

He NEEDS a Rest:

Fastball is dying;

Also glad that both Red Sox & Mets Magic #s are listed

Michael Macomber said...

The Sox have plenty of positive options for spot starts down the stretch, certainly a good idea to give him a rest. But, last night the broadcast showed that Dice-K is still below his total innings of last year in Japan, of course those are from a 6-man rotation. Hansack looked good last night, give him a few starts. The Sox must rest Dice-K or else run the risk of not going to him in a post-season series, making do with a four man rotation.

The Angry Tech said...

Jules, Melinda, Ben and I were at Saturday's game in Baltimore. Daisuke shat the bed, but WOW what a turnout of Boston fans. The sound of "Let's Go Red Sox" coming from all over Camden Yards was incredible.

And dig this: 7th-inning stretch, Sweet Caroline starts playing, the scoreboard shows "And now, something for our friends from Boston..." Interrupted about 5 seconds in with "NOT!" Pretty cold, if you ask me. Also, pretty funny. So the game was a crapper, but the evening was a lot of fun for *all* the fans.

The Omnipotent Q said...

I was at Camden Yards two years ago for a Sox-Orioles game, and I was totally amazed at the turnout of Sox fans. It was 50-50.

I heard about that "Sweet Caroline" ruse. I would have smelled immediately a rat because they did it in the 7th inning, not the 8th as it's done at Fenway. Pretty silly stuff if you ask me.

Glad to hear you had a great time, Rob, despite Daisuke's bomb out. See you Tuesday night.

Peter N said...

And MCW, the way Julian has been pitching, it would be like giving a game away.