April 5, 2007


Matsuzaka leaves striking impression (Ian Browne, 4/05/07, MLB.com)

There was no pumped fist. There was no boastful smile. Instead, Daisuke Matsuzaka merely clapped his glove ever so softly after John Buck's fly ball to center was handled by Coco Crisp. That put an end to Matsuzaka's first official day of pitching in the Major Leagues, and it was an opening act that somehow lived up to all of the massive hype that has been bestowed upon him.

Matsuzaka left in position to get the win after a solid seven innings in which he scattered six hits and registered 10 strikeouts while throwing 108 pitches. He gave up one run and walked one.

In one impressive afternoon of pitching against the Royals, the Boston right-hander showed his ability to baffle hitters and, when the need arose, get out of jams.

Take, for example, the 95-mph heater -- Matsuzaka's fastest pitch of the day -- that got rookie Alex Gordon to end the sixth inning. In an inning that could have been much worse, Matsuzaka minimized the damage. He did so by freezing Gordon every bit as much as the brave fans who came out amid the mid-30s temperatures to witness the unveiling of this talented right-hander from Japan.

With all due respect to Dice-K, it was Zack Greinke who looked mythic today. The youngster, coming back from anxiety disordes and depression, was spectacular.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 5, 2007 5:23 PM

It's early yet. I heard it was quite a game.

Posted by: at April 5, 2007 7:40 PM
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