Toss out Eric Ortiz’s statement that Daisuke Matsuzaka might be the “best no. 5 starter ever” as the rantings of an overly-excited and delusional Red Sox fan who happens to have a forum on NESN.
Even disregard out those who call Dice-K “Dice-BBBB” because of his penchant for walking people.
His performances in his first two starts are not isolated incidents. This is what he is.
He pitched serviceably in his first start against the Indians; he was about as bad as bad gets last night against the Rays; it won’t be a surprise if he pitches a near no-hitter in his next start; then starts the consistently inconsistent process all over again.
Matsuzaka is proof that statistics alone don’t tell the story. Examining his numbers without knowing the whole story and you’d think, “Hey, why’s everyone rip this guy? His numbers—apart from the walks—are pretty good.”
He strikes out a good number of hitters; he doesn’t allow many hits in comparison to innings-pitched; doesn’t give up many homers.
But his control is all over the place; he racks up ridiculous pitch counts in the early innings and has benefited—record-wise—by pitching for one of the best teams in baseball.
He’s not good.
When he pitches well there’s a tendency to disbelieve it; to think that he’s three pitches away from giving up 8 runs, as physically impossible as that seems. This is it. It’s not going to get any better nor is it likely to get much worse.
I’m not versed in the amount of ancillary moneys the Matsuzaka signing has brought in to the Red Sox. It’s possible that the expansion into the Japanese market and acquisition of Hideki Okajima (who helped them greatly in winning the 2007 World Series) has offset the posting money, contract and aggravation Matsuzaka has caused, but don’t look at the numbers as a universal truth when assessing Matsuzaka. Look at the pitcher on the whole.
And on the whole, he’s not good.
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