"To allow what happened to happen so early in the game, I can really only apologize to my teammates and to the fans."
Matsuzaka has nine quality starts in 21 starts this season. He is 13-10, 5.04 over the last two seasons.
As for other stuff:
• Dustin Richardson has a lot of ability. But he has faced 30 lefties this season and 15 of them have reached base. Only seven of them struck out.
Richardson is rushing his body to the plate, which leaves his arm trailing behind. That leaves the ball up in the strike zone. He also is not accustomed to being used as a lefty specialist. In Pawtucket, he got an inning and could settle into a groove. In the majors, he needs to be sharp right away and he hasn't figured out how to do that.
“Knowing I’m going to come in and face one or two guys, I think I’m putting too much pressure on myself to make sure I throw strikes and try to get the outs,” Richardson said. “I’m trying to figure that out. I don’t know whether it’s relaxing or breathing or whatever it may be. It’s starting out mechanical and then I start thinking about it too much trying to fix it instead of going out there and pitching and not thinking.”
• The 20 errors by Sox pitchers are the most for the team since 1993 when they had 21. Whatever they did in spring training didn't work. Sox pitchers are extraordinarily sloppy with the ball and make some terrible throws to bases.
• Sox pitchers have had six bases-loaded walks in the last three games.
• That's seven losses in the last 10 games and there's a chance this could get real ugly over the next few weeks. So many of the veterans (Ortiz, Martinez, Beltre, Varitek, Hall) have their own situations to worry about. Scutaro is playing hurt. Lowell is on the verge of retiring. Drew is having one of the worst seasons of his career. The bullpen beyond Papelbon and Bard is a mess. They really need the kids to add some energy.
Meanwhile, of the 23 games left, 11 are against teams fighting for either a playoff spot or home field advantage. And 13 of the 23 are on the road.
The Sox would do well to win 86 or 87 games.
Thanks to everybody for reading. Back at it tomorrow.