August 26, 2019

Matsuzaka Rolls Snake Eyes As Red Sox Roll Over Angels, 5-0

April 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

They say good starting pitching is contagious. After starting the year with a record of 2-5 and a cumulative ERA of 7.24 in the first ten games, the members of the rotation have gone 6-2, with an extraordinary ERA of 1.65, in the last ten games. Their performance has been even more extraordinary over the last eight games – when they have compiled a mark of 6-1, with a 1.01 ERA.

Those stats include Daisuke Matsuzaka’s outing earlier tonight – his second consecutive one-hit, scoreless outing of the week. After going seven shutout innings against Toronto on Monday, Dice-K went eight scoreless innings tonight in the Red Sox 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels. With those two performances, Matsuzaka became just the second Red Sox pitcher since 1919 to have back-to-back outings of 7+ innings in which he surrendered just one hit (Howard Ehmke in 1923, Pedro Martinez in 2002).

Dice-K improved his record to 2-2 with the win. He allowed just four baserunners, none of which advanced past second base. The only base hit he allowed came with one out in the second – a liner back through the box by Alberto Callaspo that seemed destined for his noggin. It deflected off Dice-K’s glove as he protected his face and then caromed off his glove over to shortstop Jed Lowrie. Callaspo beat Lowrie’s throw to first base.

THAT was all separating Matsuzaka from his first no-hitter (and Jason Varitek’s fifth no-no)… well, that and the ninth inning (which was pitched by reliever Daniel Bard, who surrendered an infield hit in the ninth).

The Red Sox extended their streak to eight straight games in which the starting pitcher has pitched at least five innings and allowed two or fewer runs. The rotation is one game away from tying the longest such streak in franchise history, set in 1946.

The Red Sox took an early lead in the second inning on Carl Crawford’s rbi-single… they doubled the advantage in the third inning on a run-scoring single by Adrian Gonzalez. 3B Kevin Youkilis, who missed most of Thursday’s game and all of last night’s contest after fouling a ball off his left shin early on Thursday, doubled the lead yet again with a two-out opposite-field homer in the fifth inning.

The last run was driven in by Jason Varitek, who (incredibly) had his first rbi since last June.

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With the offense kicking into gear, the Red Sox have become more aggressive on the base paths. They have stolen seven bases in the first three games of this four-game series… that is as many as they had during their first 17 games of the season.

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