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Home » May 2009 Game CommentsMay 2009 » Bōtō [暴投]

Bōtō [暴投]

Game 47: May 27, 2009
Red Sox2
L: Daiske Matsuzaka (0-3)
27-20, 2 game losing streak
W: Kevin Slowey (7-1)
H: Jose Mijares (5)
H: Matt Guerrier (7)
S: Joe Nathan (8)
23-24, 2 game winning streak
Highlights: Hits and wild pitches are like bananas: they come in bunches. Matsuzaka uncorked four errant missiles over the course of his five innings of work. Manny Delcarmen and Justin Masterson both had wild pitches of their own. George Kottaras should have just used a first baseman’s mitt like he does when catching Tim Wakefield. Bōtō means “wild pitch” in Japanese. The first character has the following meanings depending on context: outburst, rave, fret, force, violence, cruelty. (Sounds like Carlos Zambrano to me.) The second symbol: throw, discard, abandon, launch into, hurl. (Zambrano again!)

One hundred-two pitches over five innings isn’t going to cut it for a starting pitcher making $8M this season and who was thought to have at least number two slot stuff. He didn’t have a horrible outing last night: 9 hits, 3 earned runs, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts. With a touch more run support we would be talking about Daisuke Matsuzaka’s first step to recovering his former success.

The only Red Sox runs came in the third and sixth. Kevin Youkilis lofted a sacrifice fly to right to plate Jacoby Ellsbury for the first run; Ellsbury was on base with a single up the middle that extended his hitting streak to 22 games. Jason Bay homered for the second run. The visitors only had players in scoring position two other times in the course of the evening, unable to convert the few chances they had into runs.

The Twins could have scored much more than four runs with all the baserunners and wild pitches flitting hither and yon.

Dave Roberts understandably has a keen eye for baserunning situations. He criticized Dernard Span for failing to steal in the first, but with Matsuzaka pitching like the blood donor of the game all the Twins had to do was wait for a visiting hurler to uncork one.

Roberts made the evening for me by comparing Jose Mijares to Dennys Reyes in appearance and reminding me that Reyes’s nickname is “The Big Sweat.” What is it about the allure of chunky middle relievers? Boston had El Guapo, Rod Beck was a legend, Everyday Eddie Guardado has made his rounds about the league.

It’s because these players looked like they just came off the street and put on some baseball togs. They are not finely chiseled physical specimens but regular guys with just enough talent to cut it in a major league bullpen. That variable skill is just lacking enough to blow the game or just exacting enough to go 1-2-3. Mijares did the latter in the seventh. Perhaps he’ll get his nickname soon.

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