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Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Dice-K on Marathon Monday, the reverse lock of all-time comes through
When we last saw Daisuke Matsuzaka, he was reduced to a lonely puddle on the mound at Fenway Park after get shellacked by the Tampa Bay Rays.
So of course, when his start was pushed back and he closed out Boston's long homestand with a Marathon Monday outing against the Toronto Blue Jays, he was outstanding.
Dice-K (1-1) allowed one hit in seven innings, walked one and struck out three in one of his most dominating and mystifying starts of his Jekyll and Hyde MLB career.
As I said last season, I'm done expecting anything of Dice-K or trying to predict what he'll do since he's the ultimate trick or treat pitcher.
Yesterday's 9-1 Red Sox (5-10) win on Patriot's Day, allowed them to win three of four from the Blue Jays (7-9), and hit the road (9-game, 10 day trip) on a good note.
For whatever reason, Blue Jays starter Ricky Romero (1-2) is a very good pitcher against everyone but Boston. Like always, the young lefty struggled. He gave up eight hits, five earned runs, five walks and four strikeouts in 4.1 innings of work.
The Red Sox pounded out a season-high 13 hits led by Jed Lowrie (4 hits, 4 RBIs, 2 runs), Kevin Youkilis (2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) and Jacoby Ellsbury, who all hit home runs.
The red hot Lowrie continued to crush the ball, get started early with a two-run single in the first that scored J.D. Drew and Dustin Pedroia for a 2-0 lead.
David Ortiz's RBI single in the third made it 3-0 and scored Youk.
Lowrie hit a two-run homer in the fifth (scoring Ortiz) over the Monster.
Earlier Youk had a double off the top of the bullpen wall in right so it was only fair that he hit a two-run homer in the sixth (that scored Adrian Gonzalez). Carl Crawford broke his horrendous slump with an RBI double that scored Lowrie and made it 8-0 later in the sixth.
Ellsbury's solo shot in the seventh opened it up to 9-0.
Yunel Escobar broke the shutout with a garbage time solo home run off Tim Wakefield in the ninth.
Boston has two games in Oakland, four in Anaheim and then three in Baltimore. It's a long trip but against three teams that they should beat.
John Lackey gets the ball tonight against A's young stud Brett Anderson. Lackey last pitched on Opening Day at Fenway so hopefully seeing an old AL West foe will allow him to be half decent. It's asking a lot, I know.