Nation STATion: Dissecting Dice-K

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Nation STATion: Dissecting Dice-K

By Bill Chuck
Special to CSNNE.com

Daisuke Matsuzaka is most likely done with the Red Sox. And while there are still some die-hard Dice-K defenders, most of Red Sox Nation has had enough.

Watching Dice-K pitch over the last four-plus seasons has been somewhat akin to being at a mediocre buffet where you eat and eat, but every now and then, just when you think you cant stand any more, you taste something delicious, and you queasily continue noshing.

Lets go to the buffet line:

105 starts
Since 2007, Matsuzaka had four more starts than Brad Penny, three more than Jair Jurrjens, one more than Nick Blackburn. He had two fewer than Jonathan Sanchez and Tim Wakefield, four fewer than Tim Hudson and five fewer than Jamie Moyer and Jeff Suppan. He had the same number as Ricky Nolasco and Doug Davis.

Dice-K four times won four starts in a row, and although he never won three consecutive starts, nine times he won two starts in a row.
622.2 innings pitched
Since 2007, Dice-K pitched 5.2 innings more than Gil Meche and a third more than Jair Jurrjens. He pitched three innings less than Jorge de la Rosa, five innings less than Brett Myers and 9 innings less than Kevin Correia. His two longest consecutive shutout innings streaks were 15 and 13.1. Other than that there were no stretches of zeroes longer than eight innings.

49 wins
Since 2007, Dice-K had one less win than Zack Greinke and Tim Hudson, one more than Fausto Carmona, and the same as Ryan Dempster, Ryan Wolf, and Scott Baker.
He had 33 wins in his first two seasons.

30 losses
Since 2007, Matsuzaka had one less loss than Josh Beckett, Jeff Francis, and Tim Lincecum, one more than Jair Jurrjens and Ricky Nolasco, and the same as Carl Pavano, Jake Peavy, and Brad Penny. He was 18-3 in 2008 and 4-6 in 2009.

.620 winning percentage
Since 2007, Matsuzakas winning pct. was just .010 less than Chris Carpenter, .009 less than Yovani Gallardo, and .001 less than Justin Verlander, .010 more than Felix Hernandez, Tim Hudson, and Jake Peavy, and the same as Phil Hughes and Mike Mussina.

ERA: 4.25
Since 2007, Dice-Ks ERA was .08 less than Rick Porcello's, .06 less than Ricky Nolasco's, .05 less than Brad Penny's, and .01 less than Bronson Arroyo's. It was .01 better than A.J. Burnett, .04 better than Joe Saunders, .06 better than Javier Vasquez, and the same as Jamey Wright. In 2008, his ERA was 2.90; it was his only season with an ERA under 4.40.
WHIP: 1.397
Since 2007, Matsuzakas WHIP is .072 better than Edwin Jackson, .071 better than Mike Leake, .038 better than Gio Gonzalez, .021 better than Anibal Sanchez, and .007 better than Justin Masterson. It was .008 worse than Brad Penny, .038 worse than Clay Buchholz, .045 worse than A.J. Burnett, and .055 worse than Carlos Zambrano. It was the same as Brett Tomko. In his first two seasons (15-12, 18-3), his WHIP was the same: 1.324.

He faced 2704 batters and surrendered:
367 singles
132 doubles
6 triples
64 homers
301 walks (4 IBB)
31 HBP

His innumerable full-counts actually can be enumerated; there were 393 of them.

The games that Dice-K pitched seemed endless. His appearances were measured in hours and minutes, not in innings pitched:
35 games pitching less than 5.0 innings: 7-15 record
91 games pitching at least 5 innings: 49-21
71 games pitching at least 5.1 innings: 42-15
66 games pitching at least 5.2 innings: 38-14
60 games pitching at least 6 innings: 36-12
41 games pitching at least 6.1 innings: 27-7
38 games pitching at least 6.2 innings: 27-4
31 games pitching at least 7 innings: 22-3
13 games pitching at least 8 innings: 10-0
1 game pitching 9 innings: 1-0

Even though the majority of his appearances were brief in terms of innings, there was no shortage of pitches thrown:
102 games throwing 60 pitches
100 games throwing 70 pitches
98 games throwing 80 pitches
90 games throwing 90 pitches
74 games throwing 100 pitches
35 games throwing 110 pitches
6 games throwing 120 pitches

His effectiveness, or lack thereof, was never a reflection of the hits he surrendered:
3 games allowing 1 hit: 3-0, 5.47 ERA
12 games allowing 2 hits: 6-3, 1.77 ERA
9 games allowing 3 hits: 4-2, 1.84 ERA
16 games allowing 4 hits: 7-3, 1.93 ERA
15 games allowing 5 hits: 10-1, 5.47 ERA
21 games allowing 6 hits: 11-6, 4.28 ERA
7 games allowing 7 hits: 2-4, 6.23 ERA
13 games allowing 8 hits: 2-6, 7.97 ERA
5 games allowing 9 hits: 2-2, 6.52 ERA
4 games allowing 10 hits: 2-2, 8.34 ERA
1 game allowing 12 hits: 0-1, 9.53 ERA

Please notice the difference in ERA when he surrendered over four hits.

It was indeed a combination of hits and walks that would make the difference between a good and bad outing seem so tenuous:
9 games allowing 0 walks: 6-2, 3.68 ERA
15 games allowing 1 walk: 7-4, 4.57 ERA
22 games allowing 2 walks: 13-6, 3.77 ERA
27 games allowing 3 walks: 13-9, 4.73 ERA
15 games allowing 4 walks: 3-5, 4.64 ERA
12 games allowing 5 walks: 4-2, 3.00 ERA
3 games allowing 6 walks: 2-1, 5.74 ERA
1 games allowing 7 walks: 0-0, 10.38 ERA
2 games allowing 8 walks: 1-1, 3.72 ERA

Its almost inconceivable that his lowest ERA was in games when he allowed five walks in an outing and in the two games in which allowed eight walks his ERA was significantly lower than in the 15 games that he walked one.

I wish Matsuzaka a good recovery and a long life of health and happiness, but Ill be honest, I cant eat another bite.

Sayonara.

Red Sox secure playoff with 6-4 win over Rays

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Red Sox secure playoff with 6-4 win over Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia hit his fourth career grand slam to help Rick Porcello get his major league-leading 22nd win, and the Boston Red Sox clinched a playoff berth by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Saturday night for their 10th consecutive win.

Boston maintained a 5 1/2-game lead over Toronto for the division title and ensured no worse than the AL's second wild card. While the Red Sox technically have a magic number of one, the Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles play each other three times in the season's final week - meaning only one of them can win match Boston's 91 wins.

Among the other wild-card contenders, only Detroit can reach 91 victories.

Pedroia stopped an 0-for-17 skid with a single in the sixth and gave Boston a 6-3 lead with a seventh-inning drive off Danny Farquhar.

Porcello (22-4) gave up three runs, eight hits and struck out nine over 6 1/3 innings. He just missed getting his 12th consecutive start of seven or more innings and three runs or fewer, which would have moved him past Cy Young (1904) and Pedro Martinez (2000) for the longest stretch during the same season in franchise history.

Craig Kimbrel, the fifth Boston reliever, reached 30 saves for the sixth straight season despite allowing Logan Forsythe's solo homer in the ninth.

Brad Miller hit a two-run double in a three-run second that put Tampa Bay up 3-1 and gave him 80 RBIs.

Tampa Bay threatened in the second but failed to score due to two nice defensive plays. Pedroia made a throw from just in front of the outfield grass at second base on Mikie Mahtook's grounder to get Corey Dickerson at the plate. Third baseman Brock Holt made a solid play along the line on Alexei Ramirez's grounder and threw him out at first to end the inning.

Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason

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Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason

Thought to be lost for the season after shoulder surgery this past spring, Pablo Sandoval could possibly return to the Red Sox for the postseason, Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters Saturday.

Sandoval joined the team in St. Petersburg, where the Red Sox are playing the Tampa Bay Rays. Farrell said Sandoval had played in instructional league games in Florida and was "well ahead of schedule."

He could be an option to be activated if another player is injured. 

“One of the things I put in my mind that I have to work,” Sandoval told Boston Herald. “I learned a lot of things about this surgery so I had to work hard to be on the field as soon as possible.

“There are a lot of things I’ve been doing, working out, doing things so I can get better and better everyday.”

Sandoval, 30, is in the second year of a five-year, $95 contract. He lost his starting third base job to Travis Shaw in spring training and in April an MRI revealed he needed surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder, which was to have ended his season.

He appeared in only three games this season and hit .245 with 10 homers and 47 RBI in 126 games in 2015.