Friday, September 14, 2007

Spankees

"Ugh. The Yankees again."

That's just what Matsuzaka must be thinking right now. Three straight starts have gone sour on Daisuke, and the rookie campaign is hurdling a bit out of control. Yankee fans have started their ritualistic mockery of #18 at this point, revising history by saying how much they hoped he wouldn't be in pinstripes. It’s funny to me that all the “told you so” crowd is coming out now when he’s struggled for 3 starts and seen his numbers inflate. When he had a mid-3s ERA and a 125 ERA+ a few weeks ago, no one was saying boo.

If you take the Yankees out of the equation, Matsuzaka's numbers are slightly better. To that point, let's look at his season with and without the Bombers.

Against the Yankees
19.1 IP
19 hits
8 walks
16 Ks
3 HR
15 ER
6.98 ERA
1.40 WHIP

Season minus Yankees
165 IP
156 hits
62 walks
76 ER
20 HR
163 Ks
4.15 ERA
1.32 WHIP

Those numbers are only slightly better than his season totals, but when you consider that 6.98 ERA into the equation, he gets into trouble. Baltimore and Texas have also really cuffed Daisuke around, and hurt an otherwise outstanding stat line. With his recent struggles, Daisuke has posted a 103 ERA+ on the year, which will continue to delight Yankee fans and naysayers. $100 million for a league average pitcher. Nice work Theo.

I'll never be in that camp. This is a world class pitcher, who needs to adjust. If Daisuke can do it in the postseason and learn enough to make adjustments in the offseason, you'll see the investment start to bubble over the next 2-3 seasons. If he fizzles against NY again, and then (God forbid) gets smacked around in the playoffs (God forbid against NY), Bostonians will turn on him faster than you can bat an eye. Keep the faith folks.

6 IP
6 hits
3 walks
8 Ks
3 runs
118 pitches

I'm betting that it won't be pretty against NY, but that our hero will escape a few jams. He's only got a .253 BAA with the Yankees, so it's not like he's getting smoked.

17 Comments:

At 11:06 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

No other Japanese import starting pitcher has improved 2-3 years down the line. Why should we expect Matsuzaka to be any different?

 
At 3:03 AM, Blogger Tully Moxness said...

Well, Matsuzaka is only 27 (just), and he's a far different animal than the previous Japanese imports. Nomo wasn't the pitcher that Daisuke is (better fastball, but that's it), and the others have mostly been 'late-career' type-guys. This has been a weird summer for him, and my biggest issue with him is what his manager also mentioned: for some reason, Daisuke abandons his approach and starts trying to throw harder, which has led to serious disasters. I also don't understand why he keeps challenging weak hitters like Tike Redmond when his off-speed stuff is much more likely to give them fits.

I think most of his problems are psychological right now, but the fatigue may be causing some physical difficulties. He needs to return to secondary pitches that worked so well in his outings versus the weaker NL teams (where are the splitter and change up?).

 
At 8:26 AM, Blogger Joseph said...

Give me a break. "where were the nay sayers?" You were comparing him to Pedro in his prime. He'll be an above average pitcher, maybe even pretty good, but he will NEVER be Pedro.

 
At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good job, Mike-san.

5.2 IP
4 Hits
5 Walks
7 Ks
2 R
120 Pitches

Hope our man will get a win!

Katsumi

 
At 10:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pedro Martinez is a future hall of famer and one of the best pitchers of his generation.

How many pitchers are like Pedro Martinez?

That's like saying that Matsuzaka will never be Sandy Koufax.

 
At 3:41 AM, Blogger Mike Plugh said...

Joseph.

You write with very little understanding of what I actually said. Please do your homework before you shoot your mouth off.

I never said Matsuzaka was going to be Pedro Martinez in the Majors. What I actually said, if you care to go back and do a little reading, is that Matsuzaka in neither Irabu or Nomo as he equates to Pedro Martinez in a Japanese environment.

Comparing him to Pedro Martinez in that context is intended to provide perspective on how good he was at Seibu in comparison to his contemporaries.

Thanks for writing.

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

Mike,

Perhaps you were not saying he was going to be the next Pedro exactly, but as soon as you compare the man to perhaps the greatest pitcher (at least during his magical run) it tends to create an unrealistic hype. You did say that their ERAs are roughly equivalent, silly considering the eras and leagues they pitched in. That's like saying some high schooler is Pedro to his peers since his era is a run lower than his mates. It's impossible to compare two leagues in that regard.

More to the point, the hype you tried to develop obviously created some back lash. I take no offense to saying you believe Dice will be a good pitcher. But using an entirely separate league for analysis to compare the two before Dice threw a single pitch in the majors was a foolish mistake. Taking a look at Kei, it's clear that some things can be lost in translation. He was significantly better than his peers, though not as much as Dice-K, and he's terrible here.

While Dice's arsenal is good, he doesn't feature a consistent 95-96 mph fastball you mentioned in that same piece. Pedro did have that, as well as a change up that rates far and away better than any secondary pitch Dice-K throws.

You made him seem like he was going to be Johan at the worst. What follows will be interesting, but you should attempt to be more gracious when handling the contempt of those who question your predictions.

Joe

 
At 11:25 PM, Blogger aklaft said...

Joe, are you dumb? He's saying that Matsuzaka was as dominant in Japan as Pedro was here. That's it.

 
At 5:21 AM, Anonymous DaisukeM18 said...

I'm with Mike on this one. It's not his fault that Joseph misinterpreted what he posted.

Maybe next time Mike should post a disclaimer in big letters for Joseph next time he compares Daisuke to an MLB player.

"I AM NOT SAYING HE IS THE NEXT PEDRO"

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger miz said...

joseph is obviously a dick.

 
At 4:08 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

How about you guys read what I wrote. I'd imagine that might prove difficult, it is over a couple paragraphs. Anyhow, I'll summarize.

When someone compares another person to Pedro Martinez, it creates definite parallels between. Even if he was comparing how dominant they were in respective leagues, it was done in a suggestive manner. Furthermore, the comparison is useless since no there is no correlation between leagues.

If someone wrote an articles about some high school pitcher dominating his opponents like Pedro Martinez, it would be considered a joke because there's not enough of a precedent to compare him to one of the greatest pitchers in history. Even if the article was saying he was merely that dominant in HIS OWN LEAGUE. Get it?

No offense to the Japanese league, but it seems that their "Pedro Martinez" is approximately Ted Lilly over here.

 
At 12:55 AM, Blogger Coop said...

"I'll never be in that camp. This is a world class pitcher, who needs to adjust. If Daisuke can do it in the postseason and learn enough to make adjustments in the offseason, you'll see the investment start to bubble over the next 2-3 seasons... Keep the faith folks."

My thoughts exactly. Everyone who talks to me about DiceK comes down so hard on the poor guy, and I always have to preach them patience. Its good to know an expert is preaching along with me.

 
At 4:58 AM, Blogger Red October said...

Every wonder how the Yankees acquire so much young talent? Well here's how they do it.

http://octobersox.blogspot.com/

 
At 6:10 AM, Blogger Joseph said...

Maybe miz is right and I am a dick. But in response to coop, how does having a blog site make one an expert?

 
At 6:56 AM, Blogger Tully Moxness said...

I don't think anybody has a problem with anti-Matsuzaka posters, but it's amazing how many showed up when he first struggled, then disappeared when he went into cruise control, and then came back to taunt and gloat when he struggled.

This first year has been more challenging than I thought, but I also don't know how some of the movement on his pitches has disappeared (especially on the splitter and change-up). If it wasn't for a bunch of games with no run support or blown leads - Friday is just one example- , Daisuke would be sitting around 20 wins right now, just like Beckett. While he's not a Beckett, stuff-wise, he's a damned good pitcher who isn't quite where he needs to be psychologically. Let's wait to see his record after 3 seasons in MLB and then we can begin to decide who he compares to.

 
At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go to www.nikkansports.com and check out the photos of Teletubby Dice-K and of Terry and Dice-K on the mound when he got pulled out. They are hilarious. Dice-K is a fun-loving person. He will be O.K.

Katsumi

 
At 6:24 PM, Anonymous mock Dice-K hater said...

I just wanted to add my two cents:

DICE-K IS NOT THE NEXT PEDRO!!11!

 

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