Sandy was right: "Dice-K will return, and he will be very good." Now, he didn't get much more specific than that, but I'm going to guess he wouldn't have guessed that Dice-K would go 6 innings, allowing 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5 and not allowing a single run. But those are just the results - let's look at how Dice-K actually pitched.
GRAPHS!!!!! after the jump.
Okay, I lied, there's going to be something else first, before the graphs; since the last time I did one of these posts, it appears that Brooks Baseball added some very useful information on Swinging Strikes, which usually indicate how well the batters were seeing the pitcher's stuff, and if the number of K's is a good indicator of his performance.
Now, if I gave everyone guess as to what Dice-K's strikeout pitch was tonight, I'd wager that most people wouldn't get it right: it was his 4 seam fastball, which racked up 5 swinging strikes, or roughly 9% of the lasers he fired. No other pitch managed to fool the hitters as much though - in fact, he didn't manage to get a single swinging strike using any other pitch.
Perhaps it was the way he used the pitches - he threw 55 four seam fastballs (33 for strikes), in addition to 17 two seam or cut fastballs (12 for strikes). Hopefully this was just a case of Tek not having a lot of time to meet with Dice-K, and they'll work on mixing his pitches a little more. These weren't the only problems Dice-K had though, but we'll look at those later.
First though, we'll take a quick look at his pitch tracks:
Looks pretty well together, with a few pitches coming out weirdly. Should come together more with more repetition, now that he's going to be getting consistent starts.
Overall, a good outing, with some concerns. Namely, the slight drop in velocity, the odd movement on some pitches, and the random control loss. All of those should resolve themselves with more time on the mound, and we should have a solid 4 man rotation heading into October. Speaking of which...
American League Wild Card Standings
|Tampa Bay||73||71||.506||12.5||Won 1|
|Kansas City||57||86||.398||28||Won 1|
(updated 9.15.2009 at 10:02 PM EDT)
AL East Standings
Pulling away in the first, clawing back into the second, and now we may have found our #4 pitcher? The Sox' lives may have just gotten a lot easier. Oh, and the MFY got into a fight tonight - cool.