Matsuzaka Watch: Episode 19You'll want to look at this one quickly and jump directly to the post below for a lengthy analysis of our young ace's ranking among the pitchers of his generation. The recap of Matsuzaka's 2-1 victory over the Nippon Ham Fighters won't take long.
Cruising through the Nippon Ham order with little resistance, our hero gave up 3 singles and a walk through 5 and two-thirds before allowing his first extra base hit. After Fernando Seguinol doubled with two outs, young Daisuke retired 7 of the next 8 batters, taking him smoothly into the 9th inning with a 2-0 lead. Seguinol again tagged a Matuszaka offering to lead off the 9th, this time for a solo shot to bring the game within one. The next batter, outfielder Atsunori Inaba, singled. That was all she wrote for the Fighters. A little 9th inning cardiac exercise for Seibu fans, but the next three batter went quietly into the night.
Our hero pitched a complete game, on 7 hits and a walk, with only the solo homer against his record. He managed to go 9 in an impressive 118 pitches, for an average of about 13 per. His record improved to 12-4, and his ERA dropped to a cool 2.00 on the season and his WHIP 0.96! Click the stats below to enlarge, and don't forget the insightful post I constructed just below.