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Comin' down slow

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  August 18, 2008 01:02 AM

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6. Daisuke Matsuzaka is 14-2 with a 2.76 ERA, he's whiffed 103 in 121.7 innings, and his adjusted ERA of 163 is second only to Cleveland's Cliff Lee in the American League. Yet I don't think you'd find many Red Sox fans who would make a case for him as a Cy Young candidate, probably because he's exasperating to watch (he's walked 72 batters second only to Daniel Cabrera in the AL) even with his uncanny knack for wiggling out of self-made jams. But I do hope he gets his due credit for his important and often overlooked contributions this season. Who would have thought, given all the hype that accompanied his arrival last year, that he'd so quickly become unsung?

7. If you're not familiar with Lars Anderson, well, you will be soon. The 20-year-old first baseman, widely regarded as the best power prospect in the Boston organization, is off to a sizzling start at Portland since his promotion a month ago, posting a 1.081 OPS through 28 games with five homers in 90 at-bats while drawing comparisons to the likes of Justin Morneau. And if his engaging recent interview with Baseball Prospectus's David Laurila is any indication, Anderson might be just as appealing off the field as he is on it.

8. Coco Crisp has officially become a player only Jimy Williams could love, a maddening Darren Lewis/Damon Buford amalgam who plays fine defense but couldn't hit a home run with wiffle ball and your 4-year-old's giant red plastic bat. So my question is this: Why the bleepity-bleep can't Coco hit anymore? Have we ever heard an adequate explanation for this? He had back-to-back terrific seasons in Cleveland prior to coming to Boston, but he's never resembled that dynamic .300-15-70 hitter here, and it's become apparent he never will. It can't still be the lingering effects of the broken finger he suffered early in '06, can it? His decline in what should be his prime seasons is a mystery.

9. As for today's Completely Random Baseball Card:

Because sometimes, it really is random.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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