Dice-K struggles in Red Sox loss

Daisuke Matsuzaka was looking for his first win in 2012 last night in Oakland, but it wasn’t to be as the right-hander struggled allowing five runs in 1+ innings on four hits in the worst of his five outings this year. He walked two and gave up two home runs, making it an easy decision for Bobby Valentine’s quick hook. It was learned afterwards that he left with a stiff neck and a DL stint is not out of the question.

Clayton Mortensen pitched extremely well in relief, allowing just one run in five innings of work. The Red Sox eventually fell by a score of 6-1. The two teams meet again tonight for Game 2 of their three game series.

The lack of consistent starting pitching is really starting to catch up to the Red Sox. This west coach swing was supposed to be a time for the team to gain some ground in the AL East, but the lack of good starting pitching has contributed to the Red Sox going 2-3 on the road trip thus far. For the team to really be a contender in the AL East and the Wild Card their starting pitching needs to improve dramatically.

On a side note, it should be noted that Felger & Mazz were the only local sports radio show to have both regular hosts in studio and not taking a few extra days off for the 4th of July holiday. Love or hate them, they are two of the hardest working men in the Boston sports media.

Here are a few links going into the 4th of July holiday:

Daisuke Matsuzaka bombs in loss to A’s- Scott Lauber looks at the rough outing for Matsuzaka.

Trapezius muscle pain too much for Matzusaka to overcome- Sean McAdam has how Matsuzaka couldn’t pitch through the pain.

Daniel Bard: Something clicked- Joe McDonald talked with Daniel Bard after he pitched for Pawtucket Monday night. He retired the side in order, in his only inning of work, which was arguably his best outing since being sent down about a month ago.

Red Sox in great shape with help on the way- Ron Borges says people are jumping to conclusions with this Red Sox team, and says after this weekends series with the Yankees things could be a lot different.

Halfway home- Nick Cafardo looks back on the first half of the season and all the injuries the Red Sox have had to deal with, and how Valentine and GM Ben Cherington have done their best to work around them.

Celtics rookies past first test- Chris Forsberg has the three Celtics draft picks and their reactions after being drafted by the Celtics last week.

Sully won’t go negative- Mark Murphy says Jared Sullinger isn’t feeling bad about dropping down to No. 21 in the draft.

Ainge confident on Jeff Green, calls Ray Allen and Brandon Bass top priorities- Gary Dzen has Danny Ainge feeling confident the Celtics will get all three of those players back next season.

  • Early to Dinner

    Not sure who thought the Sox would gain ground on this trip. They never play well in Seattle or Oakland (a combined 19-26 in those two places over the past five years against mediocre to bad teams). Also, before last night, the starting pitching was not the issue in any of the games they lost, it was the offense.

  • bsmfan

    Next to Stern, I don’t know of another commissioner that people scratch their heads as to why they’re still employed. (If there is a lockout, I think Bettman will be #1 here, however)

    http://thebiglead.com/index.php/2012/07/03/bud-selig-on-instant-replay-attendance-is-up-why-do-we-need-replay/

    “People in our sport don’t want any more. Given our attendance and
    everything we’re doing, we’re in the right place with instant replay.”

    Yup. I guess “attendance being up” (thanks Red Sox, inter alia) means people don’t want instant replay. I love when Darren Rovell and others post screenshots of empty stadiums. Meanwhile, you go and check “reported attendance” that night and it’s shown to be 30k. Before the Marlins started playing in their new amusement park, there was that famous shot of maybe 300 fans (day game, Tuesday, was a make-up doubleheader). Reported attendance? 12k.

    I wish the media gave him more heat on this because that’s about as close of a “Do you beat you still beat your wife” line as you can get.

    • http://twitter.com/saundep PS

      This wasn’t mentioned at all above. Are you starting your own thread? Need your own blog? :)

      • bsmfan

        I wind up adding in some news of note, usually things not covered, as my way of contributing, along with regular comments.

        I try to keep things on topic, or at least relevant to teams/media/etc here.

        The world also doesn’t need anymore blogs :)

    • DrakeW

      People have been wondering how Bud Selig still has a job for a long long time now. Much longer than Donald Sterns.

      • whitey b

        Who is “Donald” Stern?

        • DrakeW

          As Mayor Menino.

  • bsmfan

    I asked before about the free agency problem with Boston/NBA. One main theme today on F+M was the discussion of this. Kudos since they seemed to cover all issues well (I brought it up on the previous post). It seemed to all stem from a Rich Levine article:

    @richlevine From earlier, here’s a theory on why younger free agents aren’t crazy about signing with the Celtics: http://tinyurl.com/d3tup3n

    Good discussion/topic if you listened or heard today.

  • whitey b

    What Felger and Mazz do can hardly be considered “work.”

    Try spending your day keeping a bunch of small businessmen in line, getting your book on, satisfying two girlfriends, ducking the feds, and maybe whacking a guy or three. Now that’s work.

  • HighWireNickEsasky

    This is just plain wrong: “but the lack of good starting pitching has contributed to the Red Sox going 2-3 on the road trip thus far.” Except for Dice K’s start, the starting pitching on the trip was at least good if not excellent – especially in Seattle (when this was posted 4 of 5 were good starts) The hitting was anemic and bullpen was shaky in the late innings. Cook wasn’t great yesterday, but he kept the team in the game and earned a quality start. The makeshift rotation has been the least of the problems lately.

  • bsmfan

    If you have followed the NBA “Hot Stove” stuff, Woj/Yahoo! has been the place to be. AA did an interesting post today on Chris Broussard, who has a few major missteps lately:

    http://thebiglead.com/index.php/2012/07/05/chris-broussard-struggling-at-espn-is-going-on-vacation-and-waves-goodbye-to-the-haters/

    It is an interesting read not just for NBA news (which I think Broussard is rather dry but I think ESPN loves him because he’s like the Peter Gamons for LeBron’s camp) but all sports.

  • bsmfan
  • bsmfan

    Not only a headline but >1k comments and growing on ESPNBoston.com . I’ve only ever seen more comments on the SB loss and when the RedSox lost on Game 162.

    http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/story/_/id/8134338/boston-red-sox-carl-crawford-target-racial-slur-rehab

    Ever turn up the audio in other markets who do a great job (NESN does) at producing sound that appears near the court/rink/field? I mean real loud. It can get not only R-rated but racist really fast. If the media did stories at each time this was done, they would have no time to cover sports. In this instance, it sounds like a fan went out of their way to do this. Don’t most people get security or alert an official if someone is going out of their way to not only heckle but throw slurs around?

    I looked at how this was covered in the Union Leader, local to Manchester, NH:

    http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120705/SPORTS0102/707069928/1003/sports

    They make mention of it but also don’t make it the focus, like ESPN does.

    2.) Carl Crawford or the journalist there/covering this made it a story.

    “(The fan) actually called me a racial slur
    to begin the game. He was the only one I had a problem with. People in
    Boston don’t even do that. I don’t know what that was about,” said
    Crawford, adding the fans otherwise have been terrific in the Eastern
    League.

    (From the UL.)

    The UL also has the video of the fan yelling overrated on Youtube and his reaction after the game where he makes the claim.

    ——

    WEEI (Dale hosting) apparently had the fan on who was heckling him around 6:40 or so. He said that he did nothing but yell “overrated” and “overpaid”. He said he didn’t hear any slurs made nor made them himself. Now, he could have been lying, but listening to the guy, he said that he’d yell at at any player, including Ellsbury.

    It also sounds like this is a great way to light-up an otherwise slow Friday where most people are off or still on holiday.

    I assume that if this guy was this loud, we’ll hear more about it today.

    • http://bostonsportsmedia.com/ Bruce Allen

      Oddly, the guy who wrote the ESPN column, Marc Thaler, also writes for the Union Leader.

      • bsmfan

        Just noticed that and saw that he’s also a part-time contributor from his twitter account.

        My question then is: if this was so unsubstantiated, why did ESPN push this to not only the front of the masthead on ESPN’s MLB page but their front?

        I continued to listen on WEEI and a few other folks at the game last night called. All heard the guy but nobody heard him say anything racist. I’d take the word of a player over a fan any time but if this guy was shouting racial slurs at him, wouldn’t folks calling up to sports talk have said something? Wouldn’t CC also flag someone working at the stadium and point the guy out? Most of them complained that the guy was so loud he was obnoxious. I doubt they would have had a problem saying if he continued to do that.

        I think back to when the Twitter stuff happened after G7 of the Bruins/Caps series. You had a rush of irresponsible journalism that pointed out actual comments and slurs and tried to link all of Boston/Bruins fans into here. The coverage was also different because people quickly pointed out it was a bunch of idiots, some who even got thrown off teams and shamed in local papers, but there was a record and folks knew who it was.

        I can’t suggest that CC lied on this but put more onus on the reporter who should know and be responsible about printing such things, without any fan to verify? I know he has a deadline to print and it was Kevin’s article but Mark Thaler just took this and ran with it. Isn’t that a bit shaky, especially when writing for a national site like ESPN? I assume he did not make the choice to “feature” it.

        My point on all of this: I hate racism but also hate how “casual” it is when the term is applied or thrown around. If you go and just write “a fan said something racist”, isn’t that a bit broad? Since, now, you will have people who run around claiming people here and RedSox fans are racist, all because ESPN printed the article.

        I went to both of their Twitter feeds and it looks like this came from:

        @sportstalkmatt No one did in the media. Carl told us in the post gm presser. RT @BoSoxNewsFeed: @sportstalkmatt Did you hear the slur?

        I don’t know journalist protocols but doesn’t levelling a serious claim require some verification?