Sunday, September 23, 2007

D-Days

The Yankees have miraculously made it interesting. The combination of wins and losses last night makes it 2.5 again, and Matsuzaka will look to essentially put a nail in the coffin of the Yankees AL East aspirations against the Rays. Hard to put a finger on which Matsuzaka we're going to see this week. He pitched back-to-back starts against the Rays in mid-August. Here are those lines:

8/15
6 IP
8 hits
3 walks
5 Ks
6 ER

8/22
6 IP
2 hits
4 walks
8 Ks
2 ER

I'll split the difference on today's prediction, since I'm out of ways to do this. My guess:

6 IP
5 hits
3 walks
7 Ks
4 ER

How's that? The question is, will that kind of start be enough to get the Sox an important win? I think, yes.

11 Comments:

At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eh, I disagree. I think he'll put up a line more in the vicinity of 7.1IP 2ER 8K 2BB. He's had several extra days of rest for the first time in quite a while, and if there was ever a time that was pride was on the line, this is it. Matsuzaka knows that he has to come out and be dominant tonight in order to insure that #2 spot in the post-season rotation and I think he'll manage fairly well.

 
At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These predictions are asinine. What are they based on? Sims? Pitch/Batting tendencies? Nope. Just whim. That makes total sense to me. Here comes PEDRO!!! I predict 9 IP 0 ER 32 K 0 BB. Why not?

 
At 10:27 AM, Blogger Mike Plugh said...

I love idiots who stop by. They make my day.

 
At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Mike, you gotta roll with the punches...at least you didn't pay 50 million just to ask Dice-K if you could start a fan site.

 
At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And...he's done for the night, leaving two runners on bases. He must be feeling like going home without finishing his work...we all do that. Good lesson for him. This is going to build his character. He will appreciate the bullpen more and more. And THIS idiot still say, "Go Dice-K!"

Katsumi

 
At 10:57 AM, Blogger Joseph said...

Mike,

Can you at least admit that you can see why some people are making fun of the whole situation? When someone is touted as such a sure thing with tons of media attention and fan sites such as this, of course it's going to be a little comical when he falls flat on his face. There's always the playoffs/next year. Even last time against the Yanks when he had a respectable line, he didn't look quite right.

 
At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch...a home run... I was afraid of something like this. Now D got a credit for 5 ER and no win... Good lesson for him.

Katsumi

 
At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dice-K is going to have a life changing training this coming offseason. He is going to hide himself in a mountain somewhere and eat Japanes mountain potatoes and run, run, run. No more Asahi beer for him. He will be trimmed down like Rocky III. We will see new Matsuzaka next season. It's such a drama.

Katsumi

 
At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see why there's something wrong with having a positive viewpoint of what Matsuzaka is capable of. He got shelled the past several times out, and given that he is an experienced pitcher with a track record it's a reasonable assumption to make that he'll put up some good numbers this time around, with the extra rest.

I think the core of the Matsuzaka criticism regards the way people perceive a $103 million extension. From the viewpoint of the Red Sox's front office, it's a longterm 6 year investment, and after the Beckett experience in '06 they understood that the first year would be a little rocky.

From my perspective Matsuzaka has outperformed expectations of what he's capable of. It upsets me when people look at a price tag in professional sports and automatically assume that they should be getting something equivalent to what their perception of that money is worth, immediately. That's just not the way things work.

As to the validity of the predictions, I don't think they're completely bullshit. It's a stab in the dark and I certainly would like it if this site consisted of more than predictions, but it's a nice way of making a rough inference.

Generally if I throw out a pitching line, it has to do with a vague assessment of the scouting reports and key statistics of that particular pitcher, as well as an overview of lines they've had against the same or similar offenses. I'd also take into account the past 3 or 4 starts and how that might fit into the overall pattern of the pitcher in question.

Of course, these methods are hardly foolproof and baseball is a notoriously quirky game where anything can happen. Nevertheless, it's possible with the right tools to make cogent and reasonable predictions.

 
At 8:21 AM, Blogger Tully Moxness said...

Joseph/Anonymous,

Mike doesn't have to "admit" anything. This isn't a pay site and nobody has to be here. It's Mike Plugh's personal blog, and he is cool enough to allow comments. Those of us who have followed Japanese baseball and Daisuke-san's career have found this to be an invaluable place to discuss his first year here in the US.

Trolls who post anonymously or people who come in and post comments only when he is pitching poorly should find more interesting ways to nitpick and attack people for their opinions. It's that kind of negativity that has kept me out of chatrooms, forums and from listening to sports talk radio, because I can't stand to hear people who don't even seem to love the games they're talking about talk the kind of crap that would earn them a bloody nose and black eye if they had the guts to say it to someone's face.

 
At 8:55 AM, Blogger Joseph said...

Truly moxness,

How can you be a fan of baseball and not welcome an argument? Far before people argued if Mantle was better than Mays, they argued if Daubert was better than Cravath. This site is apparently for people who only want to praise Dice-K and not look at him objectively.

I was merely pointing out that when someone is as heralded as Matsuzaka and then fails, it tends to create a strong reactions. You forget how many fans of baseball in general were upset about the dynamices of a 50 million dollar posting fee. As such, there are quite a few happy people because he is struggling.

And I assure I wouldn't mind arguing with casual fans about this. Not only am I not physically worried about my well being, someone who engages in a fight over an opinion of this pitcher would be a complete fool. And if that statement is supposed to be even slightly intimidating...well, it's just not.

 

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