Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dice-K's Return Spoiled By Lack Of Offense (29-30)

Matsuzaka made his first
start this year
After a stint both at and above .500, the Red Sox have fallen back below at just 29-30-- and Daisuke Matsuzaka, making his first start back from Tommy John Surgery, couldn't do anything about it. The Nationals got on the board first when Adam LaRoche took advantage of a first pitch fastball, leading off the second inning, that was down the middle,  and crushed it into the bullpens for a solo home run. However, the Nationals weren't nearly done as a Bryce Harper walk and Ryan Zimmerman single leading off the fourth put runners at the corners with no outs. Dice-K struck out Adam LaRoche after a long at bat, setting up the inning ending double play. Michael Morse would erase all thoughts of a scoreless inning, however, by lining a ball into right that fortunately would be a ground rule double and only score one. The Nationals upped it to a four run lead with the next batter as Ian Desmond singled sharply into right to put the Nationals up 4-0 in just the fourth inning. I'm sure many Red Sox fans and player alike were thinking that with the way Gio Gonzalez was pitching, that may be enough.

He only really had one
bad inning in the loss
Dice-K was taken out of the game after a scoreless fifth, and his final line was an unimpressive 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 8 K. However, he had good stuff with all his pitches moving to a degree and if he had stayed away from the one bad inning, he would've been fine. Franklin Morales came into the game and pitched a couple scoreless innings until the Red Sox got on the board in the seventh inning. That was when the Red Sox loaded the bases with one out for pinch hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Salty was first pitch swinging and crushed the ball in the air to left for what could've been a home run in many ballparks. However, this time the green monster took a homer away-- luckily, the Red Sox still scored two and the Red Sox still had runners at the corners down by only two. However, Daniel Nava struck out looking on a generous called strike and Dustin Pedroia popped out to end the inning with a 4-2 deficit. Franklin Morales continued to dominate out of the 'pen, throwing three perfect innings with three strikeouts. It would be all in vain, however, as the Red Sox lost 4-2.

Bright Spots:
Franklin Morales- 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K
Alfredo Aceves- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K
Jarrod Saltalamacchia- 1-2, 2 RBI

Dull Spots:
Daniel Nava- 0-4, 1 K, 2 LOB
Adrian Gonzalez- 0-4, 1 K, 1 LOB
Kevin Youkilis- 0-4, 1 LOB
Kelly Shoppach- 0-2, 2 K, 2 LOB

Player of the Game:
Franklin Morales- Even though it's an odd decision to give the Player of the Game to a reliever, Morales deserved it with three shutdown innings-- he is now 0-1/3.04/20.

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