The old Daisuke Matsuzaka was back tonight. And it wasn't pretty.
The Red Sox lost, 4-3, to the Royals to start a homestand on Thursday night. Dice-K just wasn't very good tonight. What was his issue? Oh, you guessed it: he couldn't hit the strikezone. Dice-K walked eight Royals -- yes, eight Royals -- after lasting just 4.2 innings. He gave up three runs, two hits and struck out one.
This certainly wasn't anything like his no-hit bid last week. His fastball wasn't quite popping, and the Royals didn't really have to work hard when he's walking almost two batters per inning. Just an ugly outing, all said and done.
The offense decided not to show up as well. Adrian Beltre had a single, Bill Hall -- who started in center field and didn't look horrible -- hit a solo home run over the Monster and Jason Varitek had an RBI double. Other than that, there wasn't anything to speak of. J.D. Drew finished 3 for 4 with a run, but it would have been nice to get on base in front of other hitters.
The bullpen was solid. Joe Nelson gave up a run in 1.1 innings, but Manny Delcarmen worked two perfect innings, giving up no hits and striking out two. Ramon Ramirez capped off the 9th with an inning of no-hit, no-run, no-walk baseball.
It's frustrating to play so great against great teams like the Phillies and Rays and then come out and lose game one to the Royals. You can lose to Zack Greinke. That's fine. That's acceptable. Losing to anyone else though, with this offense, is just not acceptable.
And neither is walking EIGHT batters in 4.2 innings. Geez.