Sunday, June 22, 2008

Game 77: Too Soon?

No official commentary - or even speculation - about why Dice-K's command was so poor yesterday that reporters noticed it during his warmup tosses in the bullpen, so I'm feeling free to make up my own reason: Matsuzaka might have been physically fit enough to return from his rotator-strain-induced hiatus, but he wasn't psychologically ready for anything bigger than a simulated game with a member of the Red Sox coaching staff at the plate and John Ferrell calling out advice from the coach's box next to first base.

How else do you explain someone going from hero before his DL trip to zero his first day back, handing out walks like a Tammany Hall politician handing out free meals for votes, coverting baserunners to runs so quickly it revises ideas about relativity, digging one of the biggest holes Boston's had to try to escape from this season, all - and this is the really impressive part - in the course of one inning and some change. Bad day at the office doesn't start to cover the gap: he just wasn't ready to return, and I suspect he's only back because Colon is on the DL and there was no one else to pitch - an ironic situation when the Sox have so much quality starting pitching lying around. Why not bring back Buchholz? He seems to be doing pretty well in AAA...but that might be a solution anyway.

By the way: did I call Timlin on the DL or what? Of course, because Timlin is such a huge badass, he a.) won't admit his knees are the source of his recent pitching problem and b.) didn't want to take the time off anyway. If the schizophrenic duo of Delcarmen and Hansen can continue to hold the fort while he's gone, I think we shouldn't have too much to worry about.