BOSTON — Two rain delays dragged the game longer than
But rain or not, the Red Sox starting staff continued to
squander away games by placing the team in early holes. During Saturday's game,
Daisuke Matsuzaka crashed and burned en route to turning in his second-shortest
outing of his Red Sox career.
By yielding five runs through 1 1/3 innings, he was
pulled in favor of Alfredo Aceves — a candidate to take his spot in the
rotation. Due to Matsuzaka's struggles, one can only wonder if those 42 pitches
were the last in Matsuzaka's career with the Red Sox.
"It's really disappointing that I haven't been able
to be there for the team for the past two games," Matsuzaka said through
an interpreter. "It's really stressful that I haven't been able to be
consistent whenever I go out there. It's been a struggle everyday in between
Like his six-year career in Boston, Saturday's start
against the Blue Jays was the epitome of inconsistency. Before unraveling in
the second inning, Matsuzaka started off the game with promise by tossing a
clean frame in the first.
Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar, however, destroyed any
shred of optimism, blasting the first pitch of the second inning for a homer.
Toronto's Adeiny Hechavarria and Anthony Gose added salt to the wound,
combining for three RBIs to take a 5-0 lead.
Just like that, Matsuzaka's ERA skyrocketed to 7.20. It
falls in line with the rest of the horrid pitching performances the Red Sox
have received from their starters over the past two weeks.
"The results definitely haven't been there for
me," Matsuzaka said. "But there have been innings and situations
where I've been throwing the ball well, but that's the positive.
"Although it's been really tough, I don’t want to
run from this or look the other way. I need to accept where I currently stand
and make sure I stay as positive as I can and look forward."
It was arguably his second worst start at Fenway Park,
falling short of his debacle against the Cardinals on June 21, 2008. That
night, Matsuzaka surrendered seven runs and failed to notch an out during the
"It's tiring," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine
said. "Guys are tired of playing behind, I guarantee you that. The bullpen
is tired of just eating up innings. It's tough."
Matsuzaka said the rain conditions weren’t a