"You really going to make me use Julian?" "Umm...well..."
Nothing else to say: It feels like Daisuke has hit some kind of wall. Should the Sack get his next start? Not on any kind of permanent basis of course, but maybe Daisuke just needs to be skipped once for the sake of rest. I dunno. The concern isn't this game, or any of the other stinkers he's put up in his last 4-5 starts. It's the idea that this is the Matsuzaka we might see in the postseason. I actually have a good feeling about Lester based on his performance last night: even in the first when the O's gave him some trouble, he seemed like a different pitcher.
In other words, in the event that Daisuke continues to struggle down the stretch, how confident would you be in a Becks, Wake, Schill, Lester rotation in the playoffs? Or at least a potential strategy where Lester goes through the motions on the day(s) Matsuzaka starts in the playoffs as if he were starting. Have him ready to piggy-back if neccessary. I don't know. I worry that if he doesn't pitch well in the playoffs, Sox fans might start to give him the A-Rod treatment, collectively forgetting all that he did in the regular season to get us to that/this point.
Anyway, Daisuke gave up 8, and McCracken gave up the other 3 (1 unearned, Lugo). Behind those two (in admittedly low-pressure situations), Devern Hansack and Mike Timlin did their jobs, holding the O's scoreless in innings 4-8.
Offensively, it was the David Ortiz show. 3-3, 2 2B, HR, BB. Not-Jed-Lowrie (hereafter NJL) GIDP in his first PA as a member of the Sox. 'Tek K'd 3 times before being lifted for Kevin Cash. The Wrath of CoN had 2 2B, 2 RBIs and a run scored in 4 ABs.
Dusts off jpeg
Haven't had to use this one in awhile, but Daisuke deserves to be "recognized" tonight.