Saturday, June 23, 2007

Game 72: Dice-K and His Wonderful Imperfections

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 2, San Diego Padres 1

I'd say Dice-K's line of one run, five hits, five walks, nine strikeouts and a win in six innings was an odd combination that usually leads to failure, but looking at Matsuzaka's game logs from this year a pattern of consistent inconsistency emerges: Dice-K will strike out 10 and lose, then strike out 10 and win. He'll turn five hits and five walks into a seven run deficit in Seattle, escaping with a no decision, or do the same thing in San Diego for a close win. Expect the unexpected from the Zen Master, because each start is like a little jewel pulled from a mine, with its own flaws and imperfections and unknown real-world value. You have to watch carefully to see what you're going to get each night Matsuzaka comes to the mound.

Speaking of flaws and imperfections, does anyone know why last night was 1982 throwback jersey night? Besides wondering when I was going to see Wade Boggs stride out of the dugout and thinking that the Padres old uniforms only really work when accompanied by a well-developed porn 'stache, I was a little baffled by the choice. Was it for charity? Was it to mark the Red Sox visit, or because so many Red Sox executives got their start in San Diego? Who knows. Maybe tonight they'll put out the camo unis.

In any case, after Dice-K walked the bases loaded in the first and somehow escaped surrendering just a one-run single, the Sox took just enough from Maddux to get by, scoring their two runs on four singles; solidly-hit, well-placed balls that escaped the infield with just enough speed to do the necessary damage. Lopez, MDC, Okajima and Paps surrender two hits over three innings to end the night and win number 47 belongs to Boston. As both teams prepare for round two tonight, there's really only one thing to say: "You stay classy, San Diego."