I swear to Vishnu that there was a ghost on the mound at City of Palms park yesterday. It looked like Daisuke Matsuzaka, but I was pretty sure he died last spring when he refused to admit that he had suffered a severed head and collapsed five innings and 7000 pitches after suffering the injury. Either way, the 18 game winner from 2008 has not been seen since and whatever that was on the mound yesterday was not the guy that the Red Sox paid $102 million for after the 2006 season. Was it?
Daisuke made his spring debut yesterday, three weeks late, and threw two innings, giving up a run on two hits. He did not tell the team (as far as we know) about any further maladies beyond the neck and back which have kept him off the mound this season. This is becoming a running joke about Matsuzaka, who never panned out to be the wonder that he was supposed to when he came over, but not a good one. The Sox should have the deepest and best rotation in baseball this season, but with the questions about Dice, there is less certainty that the sixth man will be there when the team inevitably needs him due to injuries or ineffectiveness in the other five starters.
Fortunately, the Sox have Tim Wakefield pitching well to back up the three aces of Beckett, Lester and Lackey. Timmay, who turns 78 years old this year, has actually been the Sox’ most consistent pitcher this spring, leading the club in innings. They also have three days off in the first two weeks of the season (goddammit) and can go without a fifth starter until April 18. Then there is Buchholz, who made huge strides last season but hasn’t been great this spring and is a wild card in this whole situation.
Can we say that I am worried? Yeah, I’d go there, but I really have no clue what it will look like once they line up for real on Easter Sunday and play some real, meaningful baseball. There are too many questions at this point, even with Dice-K being the least of them. How is Pedroia’s wrist? Will David Ortiz spend the first two months of the season rotting next to the plate? Will the new guys hit? When does Adrian Gonzalez get here?
What I do know is that Beckett, Lester and Lackey will be there and all of them are horses. Beckett will start on the 4th and Pedroia will be in the lineup. Theo, Tito, and the brain trust at 4 Yawkey way will make something happen, as they always do, and when October rolls around I’ll be missing sleep and messing up at my job because Bud Selig Starts ballgames at the latest possible hour so that children can’t watch. That’s right. Bud Selig hates children.
At least it’s not snowing…..(getting up to go look out the window)…… Shit!