Dice-K and Okie
Japanese pitchers Hideki Okajima and Daisuke Matsuzaka gave the pitching staff a big lift during the first half. Okajima thrived as a setup man before the All-Star break, posting a 2-0 record with a 0.83 ERA, four saves, and 37 strikeouts. Since then, the All-Star has a 4.56 ERA, including 8.10 this month. Matsuzaka was 10-6 with a 3.84 ERA and 123 strikeouts before the break. Dice-K won his 15th game Friday and topped 200 strikeouts for his rookie season.
(Globe Staff Photo / Matthew J. Lee)