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Category Archives: Daisuke Matsuzaka

Dice-K Flirts With No-No

Boston pitcher Diasuke Matsuzaka lost his no-hit bid Saturday. Ron Cortes, Philly Inquirer.

The Phillies almost became a part of history Saturday night… on the losing side. Daisuke Matsuzaka lost a no-hitter bid in the eighth inning but the Red Sox went on to win 5-0 in Philadelphia.

Juan Castro roped a bloop single over the head of Marco Scutaro with two outs in the eighth inning to break up Matsuzaka’s no-no. Daniel Bard pitched a perfect ninth to finish off the Phillies, who were shut out for the second time this season.

Matsuzaka lasted eight innings, allowing a hit and four walks while striking out five. The Phillies were hitting the ball well, just right to the fielders for the Sox. Kyle Kendrick didn’t have a good inning as he only lasted 4 2/3 innings, surrendering all five runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out two. The bull pen pitched a scoreless 4 1/3 innings.

Adrian Beltre went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs. Jacoby Ellsbury and J.D. Drew also added two hits apiece.

WP: Matsuzaka (3-1). LP: Kendrick (2-2).

Boxscore.

5 Teams to Watch in the AL

Yankees – They’re the 2009 World Series champions and still kept intact the solid nucleus that got them there. They traded top prospects to land centerfielder Curtis Granderson, a much better defensive asset than Johnny Damon. They also traded Melky Cabrera to the Braves for Javier Vazquez to bolster the starting rotation. With guys like C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Brunett, and Andy Pettitte, the Yankees boast a very good pitching unit. Mariano Rivera is still the best closer in the game and the aging offense led by Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira can still put a ton of runs up on the score board. If things go right, they could have another parade down Broadway.

Red Sox – The pitching is truly phenomenal. Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Daisuke Matsuzaka form the best top-four in baseball. The offense is led by top young stars Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. Marco Scutaro is hoping to end the revolving door at the short stop position and Adrian Beltre is an offensive upgrade at third. Offensive depth is the only thing that should concern the Sox but they have the pitching to get the job done. David Ortiz is a shell of his old self but it still the DH.

Twins – It’s safe to say that Joe Mauer is the scariest hitter in the AL. The reigning MVP is one of the reasons Minnesota is buzzing prior to the 2010 season. Along with a new outdoor park and a very dangerous lineup featuring Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, and Michael Cuddyer, the fans and Twins have high expectations for this year. The only problem with them this year though is pitching. If their starters can have decent years, they could beat out Detroit for the division.

Mariners – Seattle is truly going to be a serious contender in the AL. The addition of Cliff Lee, Chone Figgins, and Milton Bradley will revamp a pitching staff and offense in need of fire power. Lee became a hot pitcher again after his last season transformation with the Phillies and will look to create a formidable 1-2 punch with Felix Hernandez. Figgins will add speed and Bradley will look to add power to a Mariners lineup that hit 160 homer (12th in the AL) last season.

Angels – Surely they make their case for a serious playoff contender every year but there has to be a breaking point. They improved an already solid lineup with Hideki Matsui and bolstered their bull pen with Fernando Rodney but the team still doesn’t jump out at anyone. The core of the offense is aging in Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, and Matsui and they lost Figgins to the division rival Mariners. Jared Weaver, Joe Saunders, and newly acquired Joel Pineiro will need to have season like 2009 to give the Mariners a fighting chance in an AL crowded with contenders.

East: Yankees
Central: Twins
West: Mariners
Wild Card: Red Sox

Pennant: Yankees over Mariners

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