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.

First impressions: Red Sox bullpen picks up the slack in 7-3 win

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First impressions: Red Sox bullpen picks up the slack in 7-3 win

CHICAGO -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 7-3 win over the White Sox:

* Henry Owens doesn't throw enough strikes to remain in the rotation.

Owens's time was coming to an end anyway, what with the imminent return of Eduardo Rodriguez.

But Owens may have pitched his way out of another start with his outing Thursday night. He faced 16 hitters and walked six hitters.

In every inning he began, he allowed the leadoff hitter to reach. This, despite his teammates scoring runs for him in every previous half inning.

* For a team without a lot of homers, the Red Sox hit their share Thursday night.

The Sox came into the game tied for 11th in homers in the American League, then hit three in the first six innings.

Each one of the homers -- by Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez and Jackie Bradley - came with the bases empty, but together, they helped the Red Sox hold off the White Sox.

Ramirez's homer was particularly encouraging, since it was his second in the last three nights, and like the one he hit on Tuesday, was hit to the opposite field.

* The bullpen picked up a lot of slack.

When the Henry Owens Walkfest mercifully ended in the fourth inning, the Red Sox still had 18 outs to get.

Heath Hembree stumbled some, allowing a run on five hits -- the first run he's allowed this season -- but Matt Barnes, Junichi Tazawa, Robbie Ross. Jr took it from there, chipping in for the final 4 1/3 innings, all scoreless.

Thus far this season, the Red Sox have won four games in which their starter failed to get to the fifth inning. Some of that is a tribute to the offense, which has rallied a few times to make up early deficits.

But it's also due in part to the bullpen, which has provided quality relief and bought time for the offense to catch up.

* The Sox continue to play well on the road.

Through the first four road series, the Red Sox are 4-0-1, having done no worse than a split in their road sets to date.

Learning to win on the road now can be a useful trait for this team in the second half, when the schedule has them playing far more games away from home in the final two and a half months of the season.

* Boston had a balanced offensive attack.

Every member of the starting lineup except one Thursday had either an extra-base hit or a sacrifice fly. Leadoff hitter Mookie Betts, who continues to run hot and cold, was the only starter without one or the other, though he did have a single, walk twice and score a run.

In all, seven different players recorded one RBI.

Dan Shaughnessy: Can Hanley Ramirez replace David Ortiz at DH next season?

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Dan Shaughnessy: Can Hanley Ramirez replace David Ortiz at DH next season?

Dan Shaughnessy joins Arbella Early Edition to discuss David Ortiz’s impressive start to the season and whether he thinks Hanley Ramirez can fill his shoes at DH next season.

Felger vs. Shaughnessy: Would you take Ortiz or Ted Williams?

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Felger vs. Shaughnessy: Would you take Ortiz or Ted Williams?

Michael Felger says he would take David Ortiz on his team over Ted Williams.

Dan Shaughnessy sounds off on why he thinks that is an absolutely ridiculous thing to say.

Watch the video above.