Dice-K faces hitters

That was the excitement today, as Daisuke Matsuzka stepped on the mound of Johnny Pesky Field at 11:32 a.m. on Saturday and faced hitters for the first time in a Red Sox uniform.

He was rather impressive in a 44-pitch stint, throwing all of his pitches, going from the stretch and from the windup and generally making the four batters who faced him look highly uncomfortable.

As you can imagine, the field was packed with media members while Matsuzaka did his throwing. The guy isn’t shy. I really think he likes the attention. He’s used to this. People in Japan have been following his every move since high school. Now he has two nations — Japan and Red Sox Nation — following him around.

I can’t wait to see his first start in Kansas City. He has added a whole new dimension of excitement to this season. let’s face it, he is the great unknown.

The batters who dug in against Matsuzaka were Johnny Damon-clone Jacoby Ellsbury, Luis Jimenez, Kevin Cash and Bobby Scales. Only Ellsbury didn’t look completely overmatched.

13 Comments

Thanks Ian, now point us to the video that the Japanese press must have of the session. :)

johnny damon clone haha. you guys will say anything to help that pain go away!hahahahaha

seriously, i meant johnny damon clone as much for his physical appearance as his hitting. it is impossible to look at jacoby ellsbury and not imagine a young johnny damon.

Off the subject of Dice-K; good to hear from Mat Clement, finally. Glad to hear that he is working hard and wants to come back this year. Who knows, he may be ready to go just when the Sox need a starter. After last year, I think the Sox should start drafting position players who can also pitch! Or just go with 25 pitchers who can hit and field.

Ian do you think there is any specific reason why they had him face 4 minor leaguers? Do you think maybe they wanted to impress the fans at first glance, give the minor leaguers something new or maybe boost his confidence the first time out?

perfectly normal. it was the same way for schilling and beckett, who also threw BP today. the hitters are behind the pitchers at this point in camp, so the better hitters don’t want to face the top pitchers.

What about Devern Hansack? We know the talents of our starters? What about the long shot? I heard he is doing well? Is that true? Is he going to be our big surprise this year?

We heard that on every pitch, Varitek told the hitter what was coming from Dice-K. Slider low, change up away… Why ? Because they’re minor leagers ?

Most likely, maybe Vtek was so impressed by the previous throwing sessions with Dice-K, that he figured the batters would need a little help? lol

Ha Ha, you’re probably right, xxsupreme. And on second thought, it doesn’t really matter. As long as the hitters who don’t wear the same uniform don’t know what’s coming, i’m pretty much okay with that. And from April on, if a player wants to know what pitches are coming, Jason V could always answer : “like the song, baby. Great balls of fire “!!!

I can think of three reasons why Varitek might tell minor league hitters. First, to help with their development in learning to recognize different pitches. Second, so that they can learn how to hit those pitches when the count indicates they’re likely to see them coming. Third, telling them what’s coming might help them hit a little better and boost their confidence early in spring training.

I could be out to lunch, but those seem like the most obvious to me.

Hi, All:

As you know, baseball blogs are more popular than ever. Most of us visit several blogs each day. As you also know, I am the author of BoSox Banter. Now, Vince and I have debuted our own blog, Sox and Pinstripes (http://www.soxandpinstripes.com), which is a site to celebrate, discuss and debate all things Red Sox, Yankees and baseball. We invite you to become a regular, as we will post on a daily basis. We will continue to visit and post here as well, and I will continue to make separate original postings on BoSox Banter and Sox and Pinstripes. I can’t get enough baseball. That is why I visit Ian’s blog on a regular basis, and now have two blogs as well. It will be an interesting season.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

All I know right now is that I’m even more excited about this starting rotation than I was about the one we had in 2004. We’re all aware of Curt Schilling’s track record when there is at least one other legit ace in the rotation for him to lean on. It generally leads to a World Series title. This year there is the potential for 3 other aces in Dice-K, Beckett and Papelbon. And even Wakefield has proven capable of a 15-plus win season. This isn’t even counting Jon Lester and perhaps even Matt Clement. What other team has such quality depth? Certainly not our biggest rivals!

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