Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest

Games 125 & 126 – Red Sox

Red Sox 6, Orioles 3
Red Sox 7, Orioles 2
Record: 73-53

Note to MLC Readers:

After what happened to Tim Wakefield, I will not be making a similar mistake with regard to Jon Lester. Instead, as you read the following, apply the inverse of everything I say about Daisuke Matsuzaka to Lester. For example, should I write, “Daisuke Matsuzaka makes me fucking crazy”, you may translate that as “Daisuke Matsuzaka makes me fucking crazy and Jon Lester’s left arm is a thunderbolt gifted to the human race by the gods”. Unless I say good things about Matsuzaka, in which case I also mean to imply good things about Jon Lester. Thanks, and have a wonderful day.

Daisuke Matsuzaka makes me fucking crazy. He’s got dominant stuff, just spectacular ability. And yet he pitches like Jamie Moyer, nibbling and fussing with the corners as if any pitch remotely near the strike zone will be blasted into orbit by superhumans such as Ramon Hernandez and Jay Payton. Last night, the Frustrating One needed 105 pitches to get through 5 innings against the Orioles, allowing multiple baserunners in every inning except the 5th (only one in an exhibition of extreme economy) and somehow extricating himself from 3 major predicaments. It is increasingly impossible to watch this man pitch and retain any semblance of sanity.

John Farrell’s done wonders with several Sox pitchers, teaching them to work quickly, get ahead of batters, and trust both their stuff and the defense. There’s one eminently notable success story in the Sox’ rotation at the moment, name withheld to protect his innocence and health. Maybe it’s a Lost in Translation thing, but Matsuzaka seems to have internalized all Farrell’s wisdom and converted it into its polar opposite.

And yet, at the end of the day, Daisuke’s 15-2 with a 2.77 ERA. If he keeps it up, I’ll be babbling incoherently and gently rocking back and forth all the way to October, apparently.

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