Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ornithologically Correct

Loyal readers know that I'm a Yankee fan. As a group, Red Sox fans and the many Yankee fans that drop by to read my work here are intimately familiar with the AL East. The fact is, with the exception of a few odd years, the Sox and the Yanks have been the class of the division and have seen little in the way of stiff competition from the other clubs since the early 90's. The Jays occasionally jump up to surprise, but the Orioles and the Rays have been laughing stocks for longer than I care to remember right now.

As a Yankee fan, I see the Orioles as a sad case of poor investments coupled with mind-bogglingly unconscious management. The owner is in denial, the parade of decision-makers haven't made very good decisions, and the farm is dry. Whenever the Bombers head to Camden they are greeted by droves of Yankee fans in the stands. This happens in a lot of markets with respect to both the Yankees and the Sox, but nowhere does the phenomenon hold truer than Baltimore in recent years.

This is a once proud franchise that can boast a number of history's greatest teams and many of its most celebrated players. These days that is easy to forget as good teams travel to the Inner Harbor to enjoy crab cakes, beer, and scoring obscene amounts of runs against the O's. The Red Sox are in town to do some damage and try to stretch the lead in the division a bit after seeing the Yankees gain ground while feasting on the runts of the litter in the AL. Matsuzaka gets Bedard in what promises to be the most compelling game of the series.

Despite playing in one of the best hitters parks in the sport, the Orioles are an abysmal offensive club. The OBP is fair, but the Orioles don't hit for power and are generally only able to score runs by scrapping via the single or walk and the stolen base. Essentially, the Baltimore boys are a station to station ballclub. The only threat that these birds offer Daisuke is the potential for a big day on the basepaths. Steals are a problem for Matsuzaka and baserunners have seemed to bother him all year long. That said, I just don't see the Orioles having enough to beat our hero. Here's my prediction:

7+ IP
7 hits
3 walks
3 runs
9 Ks

There is the potential here for a stellar game, however. I think there is an 8 inning, double digit K, shutout performance lurking in this situation, but I'll stick with my prediction above. Go Matsuzaka, go!


At 7:29 AM, Blogger John said...

I posted this on Red Sox messageboard but i'll paste it here
Matsuzaka's stats against top pitchers this season to date:

Felix Hernandez 7IP 8H 4K 1BB 3ER
Randy Johnson 6IP 4H 9K 4BB 2ER
Matt Cain 7IP 3H 8K 3BB 0ER
Greg Maddux 6IP 5H 9K 5BB 1ER
Scott Kazmir 8IP 4H 9K 1BB 0ER
C.C. Sabathia 7IP 4H 5K 3BB 0ER
Scott Kazmir 6.1IP 8H 6K 1BB 2ER
Total: 7GS 4W-3L 47.1IP 36H 49K 15BB 1.53 ERA 1.08 WHIP

Tonight should be a good one. At least we know Matsuzaka can pitch in a pitching duel. Though I heard that Umpire tonight has a very narrow strike-zone...

So hopefully your prediction is the "Worst" scenario

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Dirty Water said...

Hey Mike. Could you please post first half/second half split stats for Matsuzaka's seasons in Japan or link me to a place where I can find them. I can't seem to find them anywhere.

At 10:10 AM, Anonymous duc said...

What I don't get is why DiceK always get tough pitchers...

At 10:26 AM, Blogger John said...

What I fail to understand is Boston's miserable offence during Matsuzaka's outings

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn it! Another good pitching day for Dice-K and again the Sox offense is nowhere to be found. I swear the Sox are doing the same thing they did when Pedro was pitching. Every time Pedro would pitch, he would get absolutely no offense. 2 more innings to go. LET'S GO SOX!

At 11:00 AM, Blogger John said...

Thankfully the offence came around to score 5 runs in the 8th!

At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NOOOOOOO!!!!!! WTF?????

At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dice-K pitched well, but Gagne and the bullpen blew it.

Worst of all, New York Skankees celebrated a "great day" for their team yesterday, what with the Red Sox and other playoff contenders all losing and Hughes/Chamberlain pitching well.

At 12:05 AM, Blogger Jim said...

That giant retching sound you hear is Sux fans gagn'ing as the truth sets in.

At 4:22 AM, Anonymous Mike said...

Do you mean the truth that we have the best record in the league?

Or the truth that Daisuke is now a better pitcher than anyone in your starting staff?

At 5:46 PM, Blogger Jim said...

If you can still say that on October 1, hat's off. But I doubt it

At 11:10 PM, Blogger pgriffith said...

I cannot believe Daisuke did not get the win. I don't know what else he can do - he pitched awesome. He should have at least 18 wins. In his 24 starts, the Sox have only scored 2 runs or less in 14 of his starts. He deserves better.

Hope Daisuke does good against Tampa Bay. Go Daisuke!!!!


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