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
Season minus Yankees
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.
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.