Monday, July 2, 2012
Well At Least The Red Sox Didn't Grossly Overpay Daisuke Matsuzaka, Oh Wait
Like usual, Dice-K (0-3) never really gave his team a chance as he spotted Oakland a 5-1 lead in the second inning on their way to a comfortable 6-1 win over Boston (42-38, 21-17 away) in the series opener tonight at O.co Coliseum (that's really what it is called).
The A's (39-42, 20-19 home) decided to score some runs for a change and it was a memorable contest for Josh Reddick (2-run homer, sacrifice fly) and Brandon Moss (3-run homer, single) who are both former Red Sox.
For the second time this season, Oakland rookie Jarrod Parker (5-3) held the Red Sox to one earned run in 6.2 innings. He did the same thing on May 1 at Fenway, a 5-3 triumph by the A's. Parker doesn't have great stuff but he works quickly and gets outs. What more can you ask for? He allowed six hits, struck out three and walked three.
Matsuzaka was lifted after 1+ innings of "work." The ball-washing Red Sox beat reporters have already quoted him as saying he had some issue with his neck but I'm about three years past making any more excuses for this complete bust. After five earned runs on four hits with two walks and no strikeouts, Bobby Valentine had seen enough in 28 lousy pitches. It was the best move he'll make all season.
Clayton Mortensen saved Boston's bullpen by going five innings in relief. He only allowed one earned run on two hits with two strikeouts and two walks on a season-high 71 pitches.
There is talk of Will Middlebrooks (out with a strained hamstring) going on the DL along with Matsuzaka. Mortensen might be sent down to Pawtucket to make room for another infielder but it would likely be a short stay with Saturday's day-night doubleheader against the Yankees looming on the horizon.
Daniel Nava doubled to lead off the game and Dustin Pedroia (2 hits) drove him in with an RBI single in the first.
Reddick (19th of the season) tied it with a solo homer in the first, followed by Moss's (9th of the season) three-run blast in the second and Reddick's sacrifice fly later in the frame. Not to sound like a honk but I don't understand why A's rookie reliever Ryan Cook was named an All-Star over Reddick. Cook is having a nice season but come on, Reddick is playing out of his mind in a lineup with no protection or help not to mention at a cavernous park.
Oakland's other run came on a Brandon Inge sacrifice fly in the sixth.
A's reliever Sean Doolittle threw 2.1 clean innings, including three strikeouts to end this misery in only two hours and 39 minutes.
Boston is 2-3 through five games on this West Coast road trip that looked so winnable (Seattle, Oakland) when they left. However, when you score 10 runs in your first five games, you clearly have major issues.
Jon Lester (5-5) faces former Red Sox Bartolo Colon (6-7) tomorrow night (10:05 p.m., NESN) in the middle game of the series.
UPDATE 7/3: Dice-K was put on the DL with neck stiffness and Clayton Mortensen was optioned to Pawtucket while infielder Mauro Gomez and pitcher Justin Germano were called up to the Red Sox.