Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Matsuzaka Watch: Episode 8

Back in the saddle again ladies and gentleman. Another installment of the world famous "Matsuzaka Watch". "Friday night with the Lions", as I like to call it. It's been a remarkable season for Seibu and Matsuzaka to this point, and the Lions currently sit at 24-19, a half game back of Bobby Valentine's Chiba Lotte Marines, and the Nippon Ham Fighters of Shinjo fame. I expect Lotte to remain competitive the rest of the season, but Seibu should leave Nippon Ham in the rear view mirror eventually. All three teams won on Friday night, including a 10-7 slugfest featuring the victorious Lions againt the Yokohama Bay Stars.

Matsuzaka was staked to an early 2-0 lead as superstar Alex Cabrera mashed a 2 run bomb in the top of the opening frame. Young Daisuke has shown a tendency to be a little off in the 1st inning this season, and he ended up handing a run back on a two out double, walk, and single. Both teams scored big in the 4th, with Seibu putting up a 6 spot highlighted by an RBI double off the bat of Daisuke. The big Seibu inning was followed by Yokohama's 3 run rally. The Yokohama rally featured two infield hits, a clean single, and a loud double.

Matsuzaka would go on to give up 2 home runs in the game. The first to struggling WBC alumn Hitoshi Tamura, and the other a 7th inning solo shot to slugger Shuichi Murata, who has a Pujols-esque 14 dingers in the early going. All in all, not a sharp effort by our hero, but he got the win and still managed to post a few impressive numbers. For instance, try on 10 strikeouts for size. He tossed an alarming 127 pitched through 7 full, giving up 11 hits and 3 walks. Ouch. Here's his line for the year:

See you next Friday for the next edition of "Matsuzaka Watch"...


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