Dice-K's turn for a round number

Beckett got his 20th last night. Will Dice-K at last win No. 15 in this one? It’s funny we come back to 15. It seems that in Spring Training, everyone who was asked predicted that Matsuzaka would win somewhere around 15 games. His path to it has been unpredictable. I think Dice-K’s last two starts in the regular season are more crucial than any of the other starters.

By this point, we know Beckett is a horse who can lift this team on his back as long as they play this October. We know that Schilling has started to make a solid adjustment from power pitcher to a guy who can paint corners and give the team six good innings. And Wakefield is Wakefield.

But what about Dice-K? In my mind, the single biggest question regarding the postseason rotation is whether there is a dependable No. 2 guy behind Beckett. That was Dice-K in June and parts of July, and even into early August, when Schilling initially was on the DL.

That has not been Dice-K lately as his performance has fluctuated wildly amid rumblings he’s wearing down. He did pitch with a whole lot of heart in his last start against the Yankees, but 120 pitches in 5 2/3 innings isn’t very efficient. He’s rested in this one, taking the ball for the first time in eight days.

Personally, I think the way Dice-K throws tonight will go a long way toward telling us what kind of pitcher he can be in October. If the rest has indeed refreshed him, this is a very good sign. If his command is off again, there could be red flags.

Stay tuned,

Ian.

124 Comments

Anyone know who’s televising the game in Florida tonight? I’m blacked out in my Extra Innings because I’m in the Tampa television area. The Rays web site says the game is supposed to be on ION, but I’m getting True Women on that channel. Anyone got a clue?

I watch it on MLB.Com, and it’s not on FSFL… sorry.

Just an update from NY: 11-11 bottom 10.

I like the fact that the Jays are taking the Yanks into extra’s. Rivera is gone replaced by karstens, so the Jays are wearing out the Yankee pen!

gsm,

I live in St. Pete and the game is on ION here. Just to let you know.

Game over in the Bronx, 12-11 Yanks…

oops!, I guess I’m here by myself???

Great Brian, you get the game and Joe Migrane, and I get True Women. I wonder which one of us is better off? This *******-s!

Yanks won, but the Jays fought them hard and you have to love how they(the Jays) are giving the NYY bullpen a tough time.

With Beckett there is a big time ace, Schilling has so much experience pitching in the big game and he’ll be just fine in October. Of course the Schilling that takes the hill in 07 will be alot different than the one in the past but he’ll be effective.

Dice K is a big key for the Sox hopes in October. With Dice K having the extra rest it will get his tank near full again. A very smart move by the Red Sox by pushing back Dice K. Francona doesn’t always make bad choices, a good move here by pushing Dice K back. Getting Okajima back will be huge as well. I totally agree with the Red Sox on resting Okajima. He will be needed for the playoffs. How many games in the playoffs are lost in the 7th or 8th innings? Too many over the years.

As much as Joe Migrane stinks, compared to True Women he might be Jerry Remy here tonight.

I feel your pain there gsm about not seeing the game!!!

I don’t know why they have the extra innings package blacked out. You pay for it, money right out of your own pocket.

Yanks pen has to be toast. A long game last night and today. Great too see, the Jays are really bringing it to the Sox and Yankees this week. No pressure on them and there playing well.

Dice-K looking fairly good so far. If he throws strikes he’ll go deep in the game. Of course all his walks usually gets him in trouble.

It’s very painful Brian. But I’ll be at the game tomorrow. Are you going to be there?

gsm,

I’m not sure if I’ll be there tomm. I didn’t go last or tonight because I have come down with something. I’m never sick but of this weekend I am.

Crisp was out at 1b, the umps missed that call. Boston took advantage and Crisp scored.

I like it when Drew goes the other way. I have said it a million times I wish he would stop trying to pull everything.

Nice Job JD!!!! Mikey really hauled butt!!!

Virtually speaking, looks like Dice-K is getting rapped around a little bit.

Brian is right.Beck has good numbers in the postseason too.Schilling knows how to pitch in October.That is a big 2 right there already.If Dice K is on his game we have a nice big three going out there.DO not forget about Jon lester being no push over.Wakefield is a veteran.A rested Okajima will be great for the 8th inning and Delcarmen can take the 7th.

I asked for him to prove me wrong!! Thank you, JD, for doing just that!!!! WAY TO GO !!!

I can’t believe I am going to say this?? Way to go JD!

I hope JD can kick it into gear for October.Oh and get well soon Brian.

About Matsuzaka: It just always seems like he takes a nap around the 3rd or 4th inning. Then he seems to just snap back… GO DICE K…

come on guys dice k has been pitching well,lets break this thing open!

remember Dice K’s last outting against the Yankees?I heard he struck out 10 of em.

o and how have you been ellen?

Bsoxbri: Chicken soup, or Jack Daniels, a good blanket and a Redsox win and you’ll be just fine!!!

CHman: I’m doing ok, you know, been better, been worse… Surgery scheduled for Oct 4. I was getting worried that I’d miss the last games of the eason and spoil my perfect attendance record!! I have watched every game, except for 1-2 that I only saw till the 7th=8th. Thanks for asking!

This is a big inning for dice K. He needs to shut the door and this team will be done with since we are in their bull pen. Starting with a walk is not good.

On the throw to 2nd, I think that the ump got that one wrong, I don’t think that the tag was applied in time if at all. They’re making up for the call at 1st earlier in the game.

How is it that a guy that was touted as an ace pitcher from Japan can struggle so much with is control here. I can accept hits cause these are better hitters than he faced in Japan but I am baffled by his inability to throw strikes. His walkd kill him

Your welcome Ellen.Wow nice attendance record.I wish I lived in Boston so i could go to the games.

This should be Dice-K’s last inning,I hope for a 1,2,3.

NO, I WATCH THEM ON THE COMPUTER EVERY NIGHT!!! That’s as close to “attending” the games as I can get… I’m in Fort Lauderdale!

Better than me,I cannot watch them on the computer every night,I can keep up with them on Game Day but the free Game Day,lol.Im only 17 and I live in the Bronx,New York.Anyways I hope your surgery goes well.

Dice K is done. Fancona needs to take him out

ok thats it.pull Dice K.

One more strike,come on javy…

o my goodness

like curse of the bambino days

Never fails

I have officially given up on Francona — this one is on him again — even if we do eventually win this — there was no reason whatsoever for this delay and risk — nothing to gain — I don’t understand him at all –

Dice K’s pitch count was up.My goodness.

The good news is that there is no excuse for not scoring on the rays bull pen

Thanks CH!!! That means alot!!! Wait, you live in the Bronx?? Do you have a bodygaurd or what?? Please be careful when you wear Redsox garb… You know how THOSE fans are,,, except for yankeevmm Vince!!! Be careful,ok??

Hey what a surprise Ortiz strike out again when he comes to bat after the 6th inning????

Hey. I am watching from Pittsburgh…..to see the RedSox choke again.

Your welcome Ellen.Thanks Ellen,lol.Ill be fine.I hate it here though.

The SOX need two managers — Francona as a player manager — someone else a game manager — he absolutely stinks at game management. We are going down tonight — unnecessarily once again. The only hope I have a winning now is that if I shoot my mouth off — maybe we will win — but another deflating loss due to a manager just not getting it drives me bonkers. He is going to have a bunch of head cases going into the post season cause he won’t pull his guys when everyone else in the world knows its time.

Gagne??? What is Francona doing? Game over

1-2-3 they go in order in the top of the 8th

Gagne??? What is Francona doing??? Game over

Come on Gagne come on!

Gagne walks one

Danm good ining by Gagne~!!

Looks like Gagne’s got the “good stuff” again tonight.. Looks like he might have gotten his “RedSox Legs” finally….. Good job!

I hope so Ellen.

RedSox, Let’s take this one too!!! Bang ‘em home!!!!

We are still going to need help winning this game Tek Hinski and Crisp. Not very pormising.

THANK YOU TEK!!!!

What a time to catch my first Red Sox of the night!! Tek with the game tying blast!! smckinny needs to get on here and explain why Varitek is playing so well

I have always had faith in Tek.

Hinske gets on w/ a double. I have a good feeling about this one folks

Hi everyone, it’s been a while.
K.C. just won their game vs Detroit so if the Sox could pull another magic trick, we’re in the playoffs.

Coco should be bunting here get that winning run to 3rd

Who’s dissing Tek now? He’s clutch again!

Also no one should be dissing Tito. For once he took out the tiring starter and brought in a fresh reliever. It just didn’t work out. If you blame him for one thing, you can’t blam him for doing the opposite, it’s hypocritical

Should have been a bunt, Coco. Small ball is one thing we’ve always neglected to our disadvantage.

THANK YOU LUGOOOO!!!!!

Then why didn’t Coca bunt???

Julio Lugo HR??? Have I gone to some sort of crazy parallel universe??

Lugo has made us all proud!!!

THANK YOU LUGOOOO!!!

Lugo!! Saves the day

Who’d a thunk it????? You go J-GO!!!

SWEEEEEEET!

LUGO!
These are the Sox we’ve been missing the last 2 weeks! Go Sox!! You’re right Rizzo, we can’t have it both ways. Sometimes you make your best move and it doesn’t work, so be it.

OK Can anyone explain to me why Pedrois either gets 3 or 4 hits in a game or none? It is amazing.

Unbelievable — I still give game management a D- , but great for drama I suppose.

here comes Paps!

Time for Pap to work his magic

O.K. 3 outs away from the playoffs. Go Pap !

Hard to believe Gagne will get the win, doesn’t really deserve it for how bad he has pitched. Maybe something as silly as a W next to your name can give him a boost of confidence.

Hey guys, I just came up with Ellsbury’s nickname…. How about “NITRO”??? He’s got a switch that he just turns on and VROOOOOM, he’s gone and there….SAFE!!!!!

sounds nice ellen,what do you think of “D-Ped” For Dustin pedroia?Time for the PAPELBON SHOW!!!

1 out left and we’ll play in October.

I don’t want to see Pena as the tying run

BALL GAME OVER!RED SOX WIN!!!!THEEEEEEEE RED SOX WIN!!!!

RSN we’re in it. Now let’s go get that AL East title !

Helllllo October!

Ooooo Yeah RSox!Lets take the title and then tear through october!

…AND IT’S A WHOLE NEW SEASON STARTING. Oh my God, can my heart take another year of this?????

Woooooo!YAY!!!!

Well folks, we’re officially in and now have the best record again with the other top 2 teams losing.

Also for all those that were expecting 1 of 3 should be ashamed of themselves. To expect anything less than a series win against a cellar dweller like Tampa, no matter how good they are playing at the time, is not using your head. The brooms will be out in full force tommorrow!

Red Sox Nation!LETS DO THIS!!!!YEEE HAWWW!!!!!!!

chman, I don’t know…I think we should just stick with Rookie of the Year for now!!!

The Schill goes tomorrow right?

Ah, the roller coaster ride of Sox fan-dom. Just when I had succumbed to despair and started to doubt them, they come back and show heart and desire and clutch-ness! I love it! And I wouldn’t switch to another team for all the trophies in the world. Go Sox!!

Schill v. Jackson

I can’t believe Reyes only has 4 blown saves. At least 3 have been to the Sox

Chman and Ellen, ROY would be a nice nickname for DP imo. :-)

Congratulations to everyone of the great Red Sox fans that usually post here. Its a great feeling to know now for a fact they will be playing in October. Lets hope we can have everybody healthy and in good shape next week and ideally, keep the best record in the AL…..Not asking for much right?

Now let’s go Wake ….. and let’s go Jays for tomorrow’s games.

Arnie: if you ever switch your team devotion, we, as a group (and I think I can speak for all of RSN) will hunt you down… Man doesn’t tonight feel great????? And this is just the beginning!

Rsox: that’s a great one….!!

I knew you’d like it.

I wish Dice K would have finished the 7th. A decent start for Dice K. Lopez grooved that pitch to Pena. That ball was crushed.

How sweet it was watching Varitek tie the game, that is what a captain should do. He set the tone for the inning, jumpstarted the inning. Hinkse comes up big as well, doubles right down the line and scores the winning run. That is what is supposed to happen when guys go down with injuries, other guys have to step it up and Hinkse did in that situation. Lugo smoked that ball and i am sure he loved hitting the game winning homer against his old mates.

Gagne pitched well and got the win.

How about Drew turning on that fastball? It was great to see. That was a no doubter.

Wakefield in the dome tomm and that is usually a good thing. Jackson usually has 1 bad inning, he gets down on himself quick. Let’s hope the Sox keep the momentum going and get the sweep.

Hey all! Great night, But we still need to win, win and win again. I’m off to dream of the playoffs… so unless I can’t sleep, I’ll talk to you guys in the A.M.>>
I LOVE THE REDSOX AND i LOVE RSN!!!! WE ARE NATIONERS.

It was a good win for the Sox tonight. They have been a pretty reslient team all year and it seems when things get their worst, the Sox find a way to turn it around. A little clutch action by Tek and Lugo, a couple of our chastised players.

Once again, Dice-K’s control gets him into trouble and once again Lopez gets ripped by a left handed hitter. Both of those things are happening all to frequently lately and are reasons for concern heading to the post season. Francona continues to go to Lopez to get left handed batters out when he is really pretty ineffective against them, especially in recent efforts.

TBS has all the Divisional Series games and I just read that the Sox Don Orsillo is among the play by play guys that will be doing the games. It should be interesting to see how the schedule goes with one network handling all those games. Hey Brian, Joe Migrane was not among those selected as an analyst.

See you at the Trop tomorrow.

I posted this in the last blog post without knowing about a new one, so I’ll repost it here. I guess in my excitement of baseball in October, I got carried away. :-)

‘Tek and Lugo, FTW! :-D

So yeah, smckinny, you need to go out more often as ‘Tek tied the game in the 9th and then Lugo hit a 2-run HR after Hinske doubled.

So yeah, go out more often! :-P :-D

Here’s to hoping Wake gets back on a roll again. Hopefully our offense can wake up early tomorrow and get to Jackson ASAP.

-Raj

http://pacol250.livejournal.com

TBS has all the Division series? Not ESPN anymore? That’s interesting…

gsm,

There is a better chance of the Devil Rays making the playoffs before Joe Migrane would ever call a playoff game on national t.v.

ZERO CHANCE for Migrane at the mic during the playoffs.

I guess Cal Ripken, Jr., Tony Gwynn and Frank Thomas will be studio analysts for the T.B.S. coverage. Perhaps Ernie Johnson, Jr. will be the studio host, just a guess on my part.

So just to make sure I have this right: Drew hits a home run, Francona manages the game well (whatever anyone says, bringing Lopez in then was the right call), Varitek comes through in the clutch, Lugo shows power and, like Tek, comes through in the clutch, and the Red Sox show the heart some say has been missing to have a great come from behind victory. They do all this and secure a playoff berth to boot. There has to be something to complain about, no? Somebody? Anybody? Were there uniforms not clean anough or something?

Bosox

Congratulations for securing a playoff spot.

We’re doing our best to abuse the Yanks bullpen who have now had to use 17 pitchers in two days. We’ve been doing this with 4-5 postion players from AAA and the balance of our walking wounded.

Glaus, Wells and Thomas are out and Overbay can only be used for late inning defense since he’s having another operation next week.

In addition, yesterday we lost Marcum and Downs with Downsy being the big one since he’s been so effective out of the pen.

All that being said, we’re putting the Yanks through a dog fight and it has to affect them. I think yesterday, they finally realized we’re not the mop up they expected us to be.

However, we have McGowan going today and Burnett tommorrow. If McGowan can go deep today and we get to Mussina early, we’ll wack them.

I think today will all be about which starter goes the deepest. I hope it’s McGowan.

gsumner – I have a question for you about Friday’s game. Accardo, as I understand it, is the designated closer for the team. From what I know they are being wary about using him excessively and have him on an inning limit or something to that effect where they won’t overuse him. However, on Friday, they decided not to use him in the save situation but proceeded to pitch him for two innings when it went to extras. What was the logic behind this? Surely they could have just used him to get the save if they were going to use him later?

Good work on draining the Yankees, I am pretty confident you will take one of the next two, despite all your very good hitters (apart from Rios) being down injured.

brendan

Yes, Accardo has become the designated closer with BJ Ryan out for the year. He has tired through the year because he appeared in 62 games and temporarily lost control of his splitter. They had shut him down for 5-6 games.

I didn’t like the move either, Gibbons should have brought in Wolfe and or Frasor instead.

I’ve never understood a lot of Gibby’s theories-I sometimes think he makes pitching changes by picking numbers from a hat. He’s cost us 5-10 wins this year. Can you imagine, in two games he filled out the lineup card wrong. When was the last time you ever saw a major league manager make a mistake like that.

We need McGowan to go deep and we need to get to their bullpen early, if we do we’ll wack them. If we give their bullpen the same treatment today, they’ve had over the last couple of days we will likley wack them tommorow as well, because right now Burnett is as good as it gets.

I think Orsillo is going to do a lleh uva job. He said the other night that he thinks he’s doing west coast National league.

pacol250. never let it be said i’m not a team first guy. i’ll prob miss most of todays action as well so hope for the best! actually it was good to see. well not see but hear/read about. just hope he can maybe get something going for a few more weeks to come. and no i want be missing all the games.

brendan since you asked. ha! all i can say is i don’t understand his ( tito’s )facination with trying to max out his starters. let’em go six and get’em out. if you want to make sure they’re rested ( as was the claim ) then rest them as much as possible. if anything i think the bullpen might be rusty from lack of work. at least a portion of them. that’s a reach but it’s the best i can do for ya. for last nite anyway. oh i am a lil worried about pedroia. his avg has dropped appx 15 points in the last week or so ( 5/33 i think ). he needs to finish strong. i’d hate see him lose the ROY becasue of a bad finish to the year.

It looks like Lugo took some pointers from Manny on how to admire your homeruns. That ball was rocketed off of his bat and he knew it, nice to see some swagger on this team balanced out with the professionalism of players like Varitek and Lowell.

Thanks smckinny, I don’t know where I’d be without you.

Game time approaching quickly. Time to get the old uniform on…
LET’S GO REDSOX LETS GO!!!

Let’s see. Seven games to go. Our Sox have already clinched their place in the post-season. If the season ended today, they would also win their division and possess the best record in the AL. The pitching staff is now lined up to where the starts are where management wants them to be for the 1st series they play, no matter who it is against or where it takes place.

All that without one of the best hitters playing the past 25 games, without Mr. Heart playing for the last week, without Mr. Clutch enjoying solid physical health, and with the vaunted bullpen stumbling a bit. All in all, not a bad sequence of events.

Hopefully, Wake will pitch well enough today to give our hitters the chance to get on top of Jackson. Then, a day off and the Sox encounter the A’s for 2 games without the top of their rotation, and the Twins for 4 games, apparently without Santana pitching, and with some unknown substitute for Thursday’s game.

Certainly, the stars are aligned, and the Sox starters, from the way they talk, are recognizing their opportunity to do what they are paid to do.

Hopefully, this next week will be fun watching them have fun, while getting ready for the post-season.

Along with everyone else, I hope that Manny and Youk are ready for the post-season, and that the bullpen rebounds. But as someone who likes the job Tito does, I think we have to recognize his success. He is willing to endure the constant second-guessing to accomplish some long-range objectives: better team health, a play-off ready team, including the newly acquired set-up man, not damaging a promising young pitcher’s arm, etc. He certainly understands the consequences he faces if the moves he makes don’t yield the maximum return the fan base expects, and accepts those consequences.

When next you are tempted to refer to him as “Francoma” remember the moves he does make, and recognize that he is intelligent enough to understand how poorly those moves will be received (regardless of how logical they may seem), if the correct results do not follow.

I know the talk out there is of how good a job Joe Torre has done and how deserving he is of the Manager of the Year honors, but think of it: the Yanks have several players having career years — A-Rod, Posada, Cano, Cabrera. All Torre has to do is put their names on the line-up card to insure the possibility of maximum offensive output. By contrast, the RedSox have few having career years, except, whoops, Pedroia, who was hitting sub-.200, and remained in the line-up only because Tito recognized his potential and stuck with him despite loud criticism. Along that same line, I might add the names of CoCo and Lugo, 2 other players whose performance was sub-par enough to get the fan base to scream for their replacement, and who are now contributing regularly to RedSox success.

And how about his use of those rookies!?!?!?!

Yes, I recognize that Torre has had some pitching staff elements to work with. However, in mid-May, the Yankee’s front office spent $20+ Mil. to address a part of that situation.

Meanwhile, Tito had his Cy Young winner-to-be down for 2 weeks, his longstanding horse down for 2-4 weeks, his new phenom unable to win a game for the past month. When he needed one, he took a reliever (Tavares) and made him a spot starter with commendable results. When Tavares’s results were not always the best, he resisted the temptation to rush along the recovery of a recent cancer victim, who now is contributing significantly to the Sox fortunes. Additionally, he has resisted the temptation to throw the arm out of a young phenom who has a no-hitter to his credit. Anyone remember the name Francisco Liriano, and how highly he was being touted during the Twins 2006 season? I know it seems like ages ago, but you have to wonder if that young man will ever pitch again. He certainly won’t be pitching when the Twins come to town at the end of this week, as they are playing out their season string and the RedSox are getting ready for the play-offs.

Tito is also persistent in trying to get a veteran relief pitcher ready to pitch effectively, despite some rather uneven results which have made the fan faithful squeal uncontrollably. I cringe, I’m sure like the rest of you, when I see that Eric Gagne is coming in. However, over the last couple of weeks the results (other than the other evening) have been quite acceptable. If Oki Doki has worn himself out, the Sox need another alternative, and wearing DelCarmen out would not seem to be it, nor would asking Pap to begin making 2 inning save after 2 inning save.

All in all, a rather commendable performance by FranCONA, who is my candidate for Manager of the Year.

GO SOX!!!!!!!

Sometimes I just want to stuff a sock in Magrane/Staats mouth(s). Real rocket scientists!!

You could say that Wake is not having a good day!!!! Time to get him some help….

Wow, back to 1 1/2>> We’re off tomorrow, we absolutely have to have a Yankees loss tomorrow!!!! If they end the season tying us, they automatically get the Title because of our season record against them. CAN’T HAVE THAT HAPPENING!!!!!

Just a few corrections to dbenjamin….Cano is not having a career year – sure his HRs and RBIs are higher than last year, but his batting average is nearly 40 points lower than last years. Cabrera’s stats to date are nearly identical to what he posted last year. Sure, A-Rod and Posada are having amazing years – but that’s where it ends. Damon has been a mess, first base offense has been nearly nonexistent, and Abreu was asleep at the wheel for the first 2 months.

In terms of pitching, Torre had to set records this year with the number of rookie starters used. Also, Wang didn’t make his first start until 4/24 due to injury, Mussine missed nearly 4 weeks due to injury, Pavano made 2 starts and then was gone for the year (although no surprise there), and Karstens made just 2 starts before missing 3 months due to injury. Only one starter from the original projected rotation has made all his scheduled starts – Pettite. Yes the money was spent for Clemens – but at the time it was a necessity – no starting rotation existed – one had to be created basically from scratch.

Needless to say – although I think Francona does a great job – I don’t think he’s had too much to overcome this year in terms of availability of starting pitching, bullpen help, or offense. His players have made it pretty easy for him.

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