Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Game 34: I See Your Two Walks And Raise You...A Bunch

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 6, Detroit Tigers 3

Did I read that box score correctly? Eight walks from one pitcher over the course of five innings lead to a single, solitary run? Is Dice-K channeling the Houdini aspect of Jon Lester's pitching career? Or, to take it from another angle: how badly must the Tigers' hitting feel right now, leaving eleven men on base? Either way, you could say that Boston's winningest pitcher of the 2008 season "lacked control" last night; that he "got away with murder" and was "extremely lucky," and invoke the same amount of understatement that you would get (to be topical) by saying that
Cinco de Mayo is a "drinking holiday."

Fortunately, last night has to be an aberration: we all know by now that Dice-K is an effective strikeout pitcher down to the marrow of his bones, and he's already been sick, which I feel should - in all fairness - grant him a reprieve from physical problems for the near future. What's not an aberration is the amount of run support Matsuzaka continues to receive when he's on the mound: the 2008 average of 5.63 runs per game lining up nicely with the 5.06 average from 2007. Not that the Sox needed all six runs they scored last night, and really - to come to the point of it - with a 2.43 ERA so far on the season, not that Dice-K needs all of the run support he gets, but if giving up eight walks and getting away with it tells us anything, it's that even on bad nights it won't be Boston's bats that add a number to the loss column.