The fact is that even when Matsuzaka is winning, he is not fun to watch. The man won 18 games in 2008, and he nibbled his way through all of them. The most frustrating thing of all is that occasionally we get to see what it looks like when he stops trying to finesse opposing batters and really goes after them - it's a beautiful thing, unless you're the Philadelphia Phillies.
Somehow, Matsuzaka mystified the Phils through 7 2/3 hitless innings, flirting with a no-hitter but "settling" for 8 innings of shutout baseball. Who was that man, and where the hell was he last night? Yesterday evening, Daisuke Matsuzaka flirted with a different kind of history: there are just nineteen no-hitters in Red Sox history, but only three Sox pitcher have allowed eight free passes in a game in the last FIFTEEN YEARS. According to the Globe's Peter Abraham (via Twitter, @peteabe), the last Sox pitcher to do so was Matsuzaka himself, in May of 2008, and before that was Josh Beckett (8/19/06), and then you have to go way back to 1994, when Chris Nabholz achieved the dubious distinction.
What, you don't remember Chris Nabholz's one year in Boston? 3-4, 6.64 ERA? Twenty-nine walks in eight games? Lucky you.
The only time I've ever witnessed Daisuke pitch in person came on October 16, 2008. ALCS Game 5. And he was less than impressive, allowing 5 runs in 6 innings. Luckily, as you all know, the bats bailed him out in dramatic fashion, and the Sox lived to see another day. However, I don't like seeing Matsuzaka pitch, even when he's doing well, and every time it looks like he'll be pitching a game I have tickets to, I groan. Somehow I've escaped it for a while, but you can only be lucky for so long.
Tonight, Shakey Wakey goes against Kyle Davies. Let's hope HIS Philadelphia performace was more than a fluke... Get us back on track, Wake!