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Home » April 2007 Game CommentsApril 2007 » Gyakuten [逆転]

Gyakuten [逆転]

Game 12: April 17, 2007
Red Sox 1 L: Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-2) 7-5, 1 game losing streak
2-1-1 series record
WinBlue Jays 2 W: Gustavo Chacin (2-0)
H: Casey Janssen (3)
S: Jason Frasor (1)
8-5, 2 game winning streak
2-0-1 series record
Highlights: But for the fourth inning Matsuzaka pitched well: a quality start of 6 innings, 3 hits, 2 earned runs, 3 walks, and 10 strikeouts. Toronto scored those two runs in the fourth for a “gyakuten,” which is how one says “come-from-behind victory” in Japanese. Judging by his circuit clout in the third, Wily Mo Peña is 23,572 times stronger than Magnús Ver Magnússon.

The third time wasn’t the charm for Daisuke Matsuzaka. His fourth inning of a horror show of misguided pitches and anxiety for the rookie hurler. After handily striking out fellow tyro Adam Lind to begin the frame, Matsuzaka quickly became undone.

Matsuzaka had been ahead of the count 0-2 and began to attack Vernon Wells inside when Ed Montague made a call that rattled him. The Blue Jays center fielder tapped the ball towards Mike Lowell, who barehanded the ball and very nearly got Wells out at first. With a runner on and pitching from the stretch to the fearsome Frank Thomas, Matsuzaka rapidly became unacquainted with the strike zone. Thomas walked on four pitches and Lyle Overbay advanced the runners with grounder that skirted the glove of a diving Julio Lugo.

Aaron Hill walked to load the bases after an eight-pitch showdown, prompting John Farrell to visit the hill. The discussion was to no avail. Gregg Zaun was unmoved by the feckless tosses that Matsuzaka was lucky to get near the batter’s box, let alone the strike zone. The go-ahead run crossed the plate thanks to this base on balls. With the specter of Kyle Snyder warming, Matsuzaka salvaged what remained of his nerves to strike out Royce Clayton and induce a long fly out from Jason Smith to end the inning.

Just as suddenly as the meltdown began it concluded, like a huayco’s waters ripping through a valley and leaving behind quiescent devastation. Matsuzaka took the mound in the fifth and struck out the side, including Wells. But the damage had already been done.

The only Red Sox offense to be found was Wily Mo Peña’s monumental homer in the third inning. The platooning outfielder launched it to dead center right above Windows restaurant, an overwhelming shot. But, without runners on base, the longest of home runs are still only worth a single run.

The game notes from the Boston Red Sox are now updated and telling me that the two games against the Mariners and the three games against the Angels are indeed series unto themselves. So, does that mean there can be one-game series?

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