Friday, August 10, 2007

Red Sox 07 Game 115

Bos@ Bal
D. Matsuzaka13-8, 3.70E. Bedard12-4, 3.09
Red Sox69-45Orioles52-61

Friday, August 10     Oriole Park at Camden Yards  ✠ 7:05 PM ET
American League
EastWLGBL 101 R W1 R LX WX L
New York63516.08-210156945

ESPN.Com Preview .
Yahoo's Preview .
ESPN.Com after the game Recap.
MLB.Com Press Pass
From MLB.Com Scouting Report

Red Sox: Matsuzaka earned his 13th win of the year Saturday night in Seattle, allowing six hits and two runs -- both solo home runs -- over seven innings of work. The Boston right-hander walked two and tied a career-high with 10 strikeouts. The 10 strikeouts brought his season total to 152, three short of Ken Brett's franchise record for strikeouts by a rookie.

Orioles: Bedard pitched 6 2/3 innings on Sunday in an 11-3 triumph over Tampa Bay. The left-hander allowed three earned runs, struck out 11 batters and walked none en route to his career-best eighth consecutive victory. In July, he became the first Baltimore recipient of an American League Pitcher of the Month Award since Ben McDonald accomplished the feat more than 13 years ago. Bedard has faced the Red Sox only once this season, limiting them to two hits in six scoreless innings.

As usual all statistics were found at the day by day database at Baseball Musings and this year at Baseball Reference.

Hitting History vs Bedard
D. Pedroia60000010.000
K. Youkilis161000147.063
D. Ortiz195101454.263
M. Ramirez174100327.235
J.D. Drew00000000.000
M. Lowell121100310.083
J. Varitek142000247.143
C. Crisp50000010.000
J. Lugo277100032.259
The starters are batting .172 vs Bedard in 116 at bats fortunately, their OBA is close to .300. Still that is an abysmal performace history. The bench though (WMP, Cora, Hinske and Mirabelli) are batting .375 as they have gone 9 for 24 against this pitcher. In fact if you just had this as a Wakefield start with Mirabelli replacing Varitek, you get a 10% increase in the batting average.

Overall, the entire team is 29 for 140 with 26 BB and 33 K's. The OBA is .331 for the entire team.

If I was Francona, which I am not, I would make two subs today. First I would replace Youkilis with Hinske since Eric is batting 3 for 9 against Bedard. Secondly, I would replace Dew with WMP since Wily is 5 for 9 against Bedard.

Just those two subistitions would raise the average from .172 to .229. Of course .229 is still terrible but is a whole lot better than .172.

Historical Pitching Lines
Bedard944052 1/34530431405.161.455.81
Here is the deal, Bedard has been spectacular in his last ten starts. That includes a start against the Red Sox on 7/31/2007 in which he went 6 innings of two hit ball and earned the win over Josh Beckett. In those ten starts he is 8 and 0 with a 2.27 ERA and is averaging 6.73 innings per start with a .86 WHIP. In other words he has been spectacular.

Looking closer there is really not a lot of things he has done wrong in those starts either. Nine of the starts were quality starts and the only start that was not a quality start was against the White Sox on 7/2 in Chicago. In that game he allowed five hits (3 of those home runs) which accounted for six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. He also had four walks, with only Boston drawing more walks. His K/BB ratio is 5.24 in that time period. Spectacular!

Matsuzaka has never faced the Orioles. Look for him to struggle a little bit, the question is can he stay away from a big inning. One big inning could be the death of this game.

♊ - When all else fails, get a bigger hammer!

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