Hype is real
It’s hard to think otherwise, isn’t it, after what we watched today? David Ortiz doesn’t throw out the Pedro comparison loosely, and Papi mentioned Matsuzaka in the same breath following today’s game. Check out everything Papi had to say. When a great hitter like Ortiz is saying stuff like this, it’s hard not to think it’s valid.
“I’m very impressed with him. He reminds me of Pedro
when he’s pitching. He has total control of the game when he’s out there, you
know what I mean? I saw him in Spring
Training, his first inning he’d start kind of start slow and boom, he’d pick it up
like that. Amazing.
"As a pitcher, I believe when you don’t have it that day,
it’s hard to pick it up. I don’t know how he does it. There might be some
Japanese drink. I’m going to try to talk to him to see if he can get me some of
that. He’s got great stuff man. Every pitch he throws .. when you watch him on
TV, it’s like a Nintendo game. he throws pitches that normally pitchers don’t
throw for a strike. He’s got pitches that, they just disappear when they get
to the plate."
That says it all. I don’t think any of us would have predicted 10 K’s in the debut. That was something. Imagine when he gets the Fenway crowd behind him. It might be the loudest we’ve heard it for a pitcher since the golden Pedro years — 1999 and 2000.
It says something when the Red Sox really aren’t trying to tone down the hype. Tito pretty much came out and said after the game that this type of pitching is probably the norm for Dice-K. I thought this quote was very revealing:
“My guess is after what I’ve seen in spring training and
today, that’s how he pitches. Some pitchers, especially young pitchers, you’ll
see them do it every three or four outings, you’ll see a gem. And the other
outings they can’t command it and they lose. I don’t think you’ll see that with
this guy. I think that’s the way he pitches.”
Also, I thought it was classy that Francona pointed out the two scouts after the game who were most responsible for the signing of Matsuzaka. That would be Craig Shipley and Jon Deeble, a couple of Aussies who have blanketed the Far East for the Sox.
“It’s easy for us to take our bows today. I think Ship
and Deebs, I wish I could show you the scouting report, because what they
wrote down was pretty true. That’s a pretty neat day for them. I hope they
share in the fun of this day.”