Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dice Rolls Lucky 7

Daisuke Matsuzaka threw a masterful seven innings to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 2-0 win over the Tampa Rays in game one of the ALCS.

Matsuzaka tossed six innings of no-hit ball before Carl Crawford led off the seventh inning with a single to right field. Trailing 1-0, Cliff Floyd followed with a single to center to put runners on the corners with no one out. But Matsuzaka retired Dioner Navarro on a fly to shallow left, struck out Gabe Gross, and hen got Jason Bartlett to bounce out to escape the jam.

Terry Francona went to the pen with a 2-0 lead in the eighth after Matsuzaka gave up back to back singles, sandwiched around a wild pitch, to Aki Iwamura and B.J. Upton to once again put runners on the corners with no one out. Lefty specialist Hideki Okajima got Carlos Pena to fly out to shallow right on a 3-0 pitch, and Justin Masterson came on to induce an inning ending double play ball from Evan Longoria.

The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead against Rays starter James Shields in the fifth inning when Jason Bay drew a lead off walk and moved to third base on Mark Kotsay's double. Jed Lowrie's sac fly brought home Bay to break the scoreless tie.

The Sox then added a big insurance run in the seventh inning. Dustin Pedroia reached on a one out single off of J.P. Howell and stole second base. David Ortiz followed with a walk, and Kevin Youkilis ripped a low liner to left that glanced off the glove of a sliding Crawford, allowing Pedroia to score. Joe Maddon sent for Grant Balfour, who immediately hit J.D. Drew to load the bases. But Balfour got out of further trouble by striking out Bay and retiring Kotsay on a fly out.

Jon Papelbon came on in the ninth inning for the Red Sox, retiring the side in order to pick up the save.

Box Score

1 comment:

  1. Matsuzaka tossed six innings of no-hit ball?
    Yes, he did that with big help from the home plate umpire.
    I believe the umpires should be fair or unfair to both teams.
    But it seems to me that most umpires favor the Red Sox.
    Jon Lester didn't strike out Mark Teixeira. The home plate umpire struck him out.
    Matsuzaka didn't strike out Evan Longoria. The home plate umpire struck him out.
    Bad calls like these usually help the Red Sox to win.
    This really need to be stopped.