June 15, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka throws a pitch during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE
Ughh! That was awful. Where to begin?
Let’s start with Daisuke Matsuzaka. I hate watching Matsuzaka pitch. Can’t stand it. Even at his best he is awful to watch. He was not at his best today and it was everything I hate in a Dice-K start. He worked at a snail’s pace. He lost the zone. He got behind hitters and he walked the bases loaded. He pitched the first inning as if he was going through a checklist of things that I hate about his pitching and crossing them off about one at a time. With three walks in that frame he found himself in a situation he seems to be in a lot, two outs bases loaded. Unfortunately this time he didn’t get the out, but allowed a two run double to Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger.
In the second, all signs pointed to a re-run of the first inning. With one out pitcher Ryan Dempster hit a triple thanks in large part to Adrian Gonzalez’s cringe worthy defense in right. Daisuke got a ground ball out then hit Starlin Castro. Four outs into the game, Daisuke had walked three and hit one. Grrrrr. The next batter, David DeJesus made the Red Sox pay for the triple with a single and
A maddening as watching Daisuke pitch can be, it pales in comparison to what is going on with this offense. Confronted with another good starting pitcher, the Red Sox were once again shutdown completely at the plate. Ryan Dempster was good, but he was hardly dominant. He went seven innings, struck out just three and walked two. That's hardly Matt Cain territory. To make matters worse, the Cubs defense made three errors behind him. It was not like the Red Sox did not have any chance in this one. They left 11 men on base and went 1-10 with runners in scoring position. Dustin Pedroia made a few loud outs in those situations, but overall the team was once again lifeless at the plate.
This one was hard to stomach. They didn’t lose because of great pitching from Dempster or because Daisuke failed to keep them in the game. The bullpen didn’t blow it. Poor defense and base running miscues hurt the Sox some, but ultimately, the team’s offense, which is supposed to be its greatest strength, failed miserably. It is something that seems to happen a lot this year. Like I said, ughh.