Results tagged ‘ Daisuke Matsuzaka ’

2007-08 Flashback: Dice-K and John Maine

As the PawSox open up a brief two-game series Monday night in Rochester against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, the pitching matchup made me stop for a moment and rewind the tape a few years.

Daisuke Matsuzaka rehabs tonight for Pawtucket (trapezius muscle) and will be opposed by former Mets’ starter, John Maine. The latter is best remembered for his 2007 season where he went 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA for New York while setting career-highs in strikeouts (180), innings pitched (191.0), and wins.

On a sunny day in Ft. Myers, I watched John Maine pitch a Spring Training game against the Rochester Red Wings.

Signed by the Red Sox as a minor league free agent on December 30, 2011, Maine spent Spring Training in Ft. Myers before being released after the season began. He never made it out of extended Spring Training (but he did make the PawSox Media Guide). Maine then signed with the Yankees on May 25 and made his Scranton/Wilkes-Barre debut out of the bullpen on June 12.

A year following Maine’s best season, it was Dice-K who turned in his finest campaign. In 2008, the right-hander finished with a dominating 18-3 record and a 2.90 ERA. He finished fourth in Cy Young voting, his .857 winning percentage trailed only Cliff Lee in the American League, and his earned run average was good for third in the A.L.

Years after their two best professional seasons, Matsuzaka and Maine face off Monday night at Frontier Field.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

PawSox Roster Moves – July 30, 2012

As the PawSox kick off a four-game, two-city road trip to Rochester and Lehigh Valley, the following roster moves have been announced:

  • Daisuke Matsuzaka has been received on Major Rehab rehab assignment and will start tonight against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  The right-hander was placed on the disabled list on July 3 with strain in right trapezius muscle (stretches from neck to shoulder) and last pitched with the Red Sox on July 2 at Oakland where he started and went just one inning.
  • 38-year-old Nelson Figueroa has been activated from the temporary inactive list and will pitch tonight following Dice-K. Signed by the Red Sox last Tuesday after being released by the Yankees, Figueroa made his PawSox debut on July 25 at Indianapolis where he tossed five innings for the win, allowing two runs on five hits.
  • Catcher Matt Spring has been assigned back to Portland. The former Rays’ farmhand was received by Pawtucket when catcher Mike Rivera was hit on the wrist by a fastball in Indianapolis while batting. Spring appeared in one game and finished 1-for-4 with a single, three strikeouts, and a stolen base.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Matsuzaka made six rehab starts this year with with the PawSox from May 7 – June 5 recovering from Tommy John surgery. (Kelly O’Connor)

Mortensen ‘Pitched with Conviction’ with Boston

The Red Sox have to be pleased with what they’ve seen from Clayton Mortensen this year. In his two stints with Boston, the right-hander has put together a 1.35 ERA (3 ER/20.0 IP) over eight appearances while walking just two and striking out 15.

Following five innings of long relief in Oakland because Daisuke Matsuzaka experienced neck stiffness, Mortensen was optioned back to Pawtucket to make room for recently promoted Justin Germano.

“I thought I went up and did what they asked me to do,” Mortensen said about his recent time with the Red Sox. “It was nice to get back there and reiterate that I can help the team out when needed. I’ve been happy with the way I’ve thrown the ball up there.”

While his numbers with the PawSox have been solid (4-2, 2.39 ERA with 12 walks and 24 strikeouts), Mortensen has appeared locked-in during his two trips to the Big Leagues this season. A familiar stage, the righty has appeared in the Majors in each of the last four seasons with St. Louis, Oakland, Colorado, and now Boston.

In 32 career Major League games (13 starts), Mortensen is 4-8, 4.46 ERA with 41 walks and 65 strikeouts. (Kelly O’Connor)

“I think up there you seem to dial it in a litte more and throw each pitch with more conviction because there is more riding on the line,” Mortensen explained. “You really try to emphasize location and mixing [your pitches] and being able to get some bad contact.”

“The one thing down in Triple-A you always have to remember is that it doesn’t matter if you’re down here or up there, you have to attack with the same mentality. You don’t want to go up [to the Major Leagues], get your number called, and then all of a sudden change your mindset of how you’re approaching hitters.”

In his first year with the Red Sox, Mortensen has noticed something he never experienced with his previous Major League teams.

“When you have ‘Red Sox’ across your chest, you’re one of the big teams in the league. Everyone gets up to play Boston and you know that you’re going to see the other team’s very best. It’s a great feeling because if you play well, you know that you had success against another team at its best.”

Mortensen rejoins a PawSox club that aims for its 50th win of the season tonight in Rochester. Televised on NESN, Tony Pena Jr. (9-6, 6.23) will be opposed by Jeff Manship (4-1, 2.79). On the radio side of things, pre-game coverage begins at 5:50, first pitch is set for 6:05.

Talk with you then.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

The Red Sox traded shortstop Marco Scutaro to Colorado for Mortensen on on January 21, 2012.

Ross, Cook Join the PawSox in Buffalo

The PawSox have had their share of Major League rehabbers this season. In fact, before today, six Red Sox players had rehabbed with Pawtucket this year.

1. Andrew Miller
2. Rich Hill
3. Daisuke Matsuzaka
4. Kevin Youkilis
5. Darnell McDonald
6. Ryan Kalish (later optioned to the PawSox)

We can now add two more names to the list: Cody Ross and Aaron Cook. Ross, in his first year with the Red Sox, is scheduled to lead-off tonight in Buffalo and DH. The Red Sox outfielder suffered a broken bone in his left foot that fortunately did not need surgery.

 


 
Right-hander Aaron Cook, who began the season with the PawSox, is scheduled to make his first rehab start on Monday in Syracuse. Cook’s injury is as odd as it is disappointing. In his 2012 Major League debut at Fenway Park, Cook suffered a deep cut on his knee when he was “cleated” covering home plate.

The PawSox are a league-best 43-25 and can lock down a sereis win with a “W” in Buffalo tonight. Billy Buckner (0-1, 11.42) will be opposed by Bisons’ starter Jeurys Familia (5-3, 4.35). First pitch tonight is scheduled for 7:05,  pre-game coverage begins at 6:50.

Talk with you then.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Ross will test his left foot tonight in his frist rehab start for the PawSox. At the time of his injury, Ross was batting .271 and had appeared in all three outfield positions for the Red Sox. (Kelly O’Connor)

Kalish Delivers in First Game with PawSox

In his seventh rehab game of the year – his first with the PawSox – Ryan Kalish looked in mid-season form. The center fielder finished 2-for-2 with a two-run homer in the first inning. He followed that up with an RBI single to left field in the third, and added three walks.

“It was awesome to be out there, man,” said Kalish after the game. “I just had a really good time with my teammates.”

Ryan Kalish connected on a two-run homer to right field in his first at bat Tuesday night. It marked his second homer during his current rehab, with his other coming in the ninth inning of his first game with Salem. (Jillian Souza).

When talking about his home run, Kalish remarked, “that’s not something I’m looking to do, really ever. Obviously doing it in my first at-bat back was a really fun time.”

Kalish also scored three times and even stole second base in the third inning.

“I feel good. I mean, everything is coming together. I’m just on the grind, trying to get back.”

The PawSox thumped the Indians 13-2 Tuesday night, marking their most lopsided win of the season. Along with Kalish, Mauro Gomez and Ryan Lavarnway also homered. Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched an inning and a third and allowed a run on three hits while walking and striking out two batters.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Kalish celebrates his home run with good friend, and Spring Training roommate, Lars Anderson. (Jillian Souza)

Ryan Kalish Joins PawSox, Dice-K Starts

After a rain-shortened road trip to Allentown, Pa., the PawSox are back home tonight and are joined by outfielder Ryan Kalish.

Officially on a rehab assignment, Kalish has already played in six games split between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland where he’s gone 6-for-25 (.286) with a home run, one RBI, and a double.

“I hope he has an event-filled game tonight,” said PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler. “Hopefully he can track some balls down, get some throws in, have some good at-bats, and run a little.”

The plan was for Kalish to play four games with the Sea Dogs before joining Pawtucket, but rain kept that from happening.

Kalish played just 24 games last year due to two stints on the disabled list. He totaled 22 games with the PawSox, batting .209 (18-for-86) with 6 doubles, 9 RBI, and 8 walks. (Kelly O’Connor)

“Right now it’s all about quality at-bats and seeing the ball well,” said Kalish in an interview with Sea Dogs’ broadcaster, Mike Antonellis. “I’m happy with where I’m at. Not being out there for over a year is a long time not to play at a level like this.”

Although Kalish last suited up for the PawSox in August of last year, he played in so few games before being sidelined with right trapezius inflammation, it seems as though he really hasn’t played since last April.  That’s when he suffered a left shoulder injury while making a diving catch in center field on April 21 against Syracuse. That’s where he’ll play tonight, batting second.

Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his sixth rehab start for the PawSox this evening against Indianapolis. He’s been outstanding over his last two outings, allowing just one run on three hits for a 0.87 ERA (1 ER/10.1 IP).

“He pitched efficiently in his last start,” commented Beyeler. “He was aggressive, effective, and was able to keep the ball down. He made big pitches to get big outs when he needed them.”

Multiple outlets are reporting Daniel Bard is being optioned to Pawtucket. As of around 4:00 that could not been confirmed by anyone here at McCoy. We’ll have to wait and see.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Top-10 PawSox Moments in May

Between the late nights, early morning flights, bumpy bus rides, and countless other factors, a minor league baseball season can quickly become a blur. Today, as we flip the calendar to the start of June, we’ll begin by rewinding to the beginning of May to rank the Top-10 moments from the month that was.

#10 – Nava Gets Second Call-Up to Boston (May 10)

Even though there wasn’t a grand slam this time, Daniel Nava’s return to the Major Leagues was, to some, maybe as unthinkable as his historic slam in his big league debut in 2010.

Never mind the fact that Nava wasn’t invited to Major League camp, he wasn’t even in the PawSox Opening Day lineup. After a slow start to the year, Nava caught fire and has continued to produce with Boston.

#9 – Gomez Delivers in the Eighth Inning (May 10)

The PawSox trailed the Rochester Red Wings at McCoy Stadium by a run going into the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs, Jose Iglesias singled, then Lars Anderson reached on an error by former PawSox second baseman, Joe Thurston. That’s when Mauro Gomez ripped a two-run double that bounced off the right-field wall to plate two runs and give the PawSox the lead and the eventual win, 7-6.

Gomez has had plenty to smile about this season. Not only has he received his first Major League call-up, but he leads the PawSox in home runs, runs batted in, doubles, and hits. (Kelly O’Connor).

#8 – Mathis Nearly Perfect, Youkilis Rehabs (May 21)

After struggling in April, Doug Mathis flipped the switch in May and dominated the Norfolk Tides in his ninth start of the year.

The former Texas Ranger had maybe the best outing of any Pawtucket starter this year by tossing seven-innings scoreless, allowing just one hit – a fifth-inning triple that was almost caught with two outs.

The PawSox blanked the Tides 4-0 and were aided by rehabbing Kevin Youkilis who finished 1-for-2 with an RBI double and a pair of walks.

#7 – Middlebrooks Gets the Call (May 2)

After thrashing International League pitching throughout April, PawSox third baseman, and Red Sox No. 1 prospect, Will Middlebrooks received his first-ever call-up to Boston.

Since joining the Red Sox, Middlebrooks is batting .316 (30-for-95) in 24 games with six homers and 21 runs batted in. Safe to say it’s looking less likely he’ll see Pawtucket again this season.

In 24 games with the PawSox, Middlebrooks hit .333 with nine homers and 27 runs batted in. Five of is home runs came with two men on base. (Kelly O’Connor)

#6 – Hassan Delivers on Mother’s Day (May 13)

On a beautiful Mother’s Day at McCoy, the PawSox and Columbus Clippers were tied 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning. With his mom in the stands, Alex Hassan homered to left-field with one out to give Pawtucket a 5-4 lead and the eventual win.

Hassan finished the day 3-for-3 with two runs batted in, three runs scored, and was a triple shy of the cycle.

#5 – PawSox and Bulls Take Center Stage in Japan (May 17)

In front of over 10,000 fans, plus thousands more watching on Japanese sports cable channel J SPORTS, two of the Pacific Rim’s biggest  baseball stars squared off at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Rehabbing Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched for the PawSox as Hideki Matsui played his third-career game in the Tampa Bay Rays’ system. Although Pawtucket lost 5-0 and never moved a runner past second base, the media hype and overall buzz within the ballpark made it one of the more memorable games this season.

There were over 35 Japanese media members in Durham to report on Matsuzaka vs. Matsui. (Kelly O’Connor).

#4 – PawSox Homer Five Times (May 27)

Not only did the PawSox club five home runs, but three of the first four batters in the bottom of the first inning went deep.

Pedro Ciriaco hit a lead-off homer to left, followed by Nate Spears’ home run to right. After Darnell McDonald smoked a line drive to third base, Lars Anderson went deep to right field.

Anderson homered again to begin the sixth inning, followed by Alex Hassan’s 2-run shot in the eighth. For Anderson, it was his third-career two-homer game, his first since 2009.

#3 – PawSox Take Down Andy Pettitte (May 6)  

Originally scheduled to be played at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, Ny., the PawsSox and Yankees dueled in front of a record crowd at Frontier Field in Rochester. Because of the media and fan interest, the Yankees, PawSox, and Red Wings all agreed to move the contest to Rochester where, in a matter of days, the Wings sold 13,584 tickets to watch Andy Pettitte.

With the Triple-A Yankees’ ballpark under season-long construction, the PawSox dealt the five-time World Series champion a loss. In fact, the first four PawSox batters recorded hits off Pettitte: Pedro Ciriaco (double), Jose Iglesias (infield single), Ryan Lavarnway (RBI double), and Lars Anderson (RBI single).

Iglesias went 2-for-3 with an RBI against Pettitte and the Yankees. Even more impressive, the PawSox shortstop hit .341 in May with his second-career homer and nine runs batted in. (Kelly O’Connor)

#2 – Lavarnway’s Bomb Caps Seven-Run Inning, and the Win (May 26)

The PawSox went into the bottom of the eighth inning trailing Toledo 5-1. When the inning was over, they lead 8-5. Ryan Lavarnway’s 3-run homer was the bow on top of  a 7-run, 7-hit inning – the most runs scored in a single frame this season by Pawtucket.

Not only was Lavarnway’s home run a first pitch no-doubter, it was his first home run since April 17 (99 at-bats).

#1 – Lars Anderson Makes SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays (May 29)

For the first time in the history of McCoy Stadium, a home run was hit of the HD video board in right-center field. As part of his third-career, five-RBI night, Anderson pounded a two-run shot in the fourth inning that blew out a small portion of the two-year old board.

Photo taken of the video board at McCoy Stadium seconds after Anderson’s blast. (Jillian Souza)

For his efforts, Anderson was among the Top-10 plays that night (and the next morning) on SportsCenter.

There were plenty of noteworthy moments throughout May for the PawSox, who ended the month 18-12. Tonight June begins with Game 1 of a brief four-game road trip to Lehigh Valley to face the Iron Pigs. Brandon Duckworth (5-1, 4.22) will be opposed by righty Scott Elarton (5-2, 3.44).

First pitch tonight from Coca-Cola Park is scheduled for 7:05, we hit the air with the pre-game show at 6:50.

Talk with you then.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Sunday Conversation with Arnie Beyeler

As the PawSox wrap-up their four-game series tonight against the Toledo Mud Hens, I had a chance to sit down and chat with former ‘Hens infielder – and current PawSox manager – Arnie Beyeler.

Arnie’s reaction to last night’s seven-run 8th inning:

“These guys showed a lot of character. You don’t see [a seven-run inning] very often. These guys have done a good job all year. We talk to them about playing  hard nine innings every night and last night they didn’t quit. They did a great job.”

On Ryan Lavarnway’s go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth inning:

“He’s a threat every time he comes to the plate. Part of his development is getting to catch everyday this year. It has probably taken a toll on him from a durability standpoint – how strong he feels everyday. It’s always nice to see guys succeed when they get big opportunities.”

Beyeler played in 29 games with Toledo in 1991 where he hit .174 with two doubles and two RBI before retiring from playing. (PawSox.com)

Regarding how he thought Dice-K pitched last night:

“I thought he did a nice job of throwing strikes. He threw a lot of fastballs during the first four innings and really didn’t go to his off-speed stuff until later. He really pounded the zone and was aggressive to the hitters. He did a very nice job and was very efficient.”

PawSox Notebook:

  • The home run last night from Lavarnway was his first since back-to-back blasts on April 16 and 17 at Syracuse (26 games, 99 at-bats).
  • Fan-favorite Ryan Kalish homered in the 9th inning last night for High-A Salem in his first game of the season. He worked as the designated hitter and finished the night 2-for-4. Officially on a rehab assignment, the outfielder has 20 days before Boston will be forced to call him up or option him to a minor league club.
  • Aaron Bates spent parts of 2009 and ’10 with Pawtucket and made his Major League debut with the Red Sox on July 6, 2009. After signing a minor league contract with Minnesota on May 9, 2011, he was released almost a year later: May 15, 2012. Happy to see Bates has latched on with one of the most distinguished franchises in baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals. (Sorry, I’m from St. Louis.)
  • After collecting a save in seven of his last nine appearances, Mark Melancon is now 8-for-8 in save situations with three walks and 24 strikeouts in 17 appearances. Unfortunately for Melancon, the Red Sox bullpen has been the club’s backbone over the recent stretch.

The PawSox finish their final series of the season with Toldo tonight from McCoy. Righty Brandon Duckworth (5-1, 4.28) will be opposed by the Mud Hens’ right-hander Thad Weber (3-2, 2.54). First pitch tonight is scheduled for 6:05, we hit the air at 5:50.

Talk with you then.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Aaron Bates played in 122 games for the PawSox in 2010 where he hit .240 with 12 home runs and 54 runs batted in. (Kelly O’Connor)

Dice-K Rehabs with PawSox Tonight

After being scratched from his previously scheduled start on May 22 at Norfolk, Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to make his fourth rehab start for the PawSox tonight at McCoy.

Some positives from his most recent start in Durham in May 17:

  • He went a season-high 6 2/3 innings
  • Tossed a season-high 95 pitches (64 for strikes)
  • He did not walk a batter

Some negatives:

  • For the second consecutive start he surrendered two home runs
  • Allowed five runs for the second-straight start (four earned)

Matsuzaka is 49-30 with a 4.25 ERA in 106 games (105 starts) with the Red Sox over five seasons. (Kelly O’Connor)

“I’d like to see his fastball with more of a downhill plane tonight,” said PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler. “Because he’s not that tall, he has to generate a downhill angle on his fastball or else it will stay flat.”

Beyeler went on to say that Dice-K’s first start with the PawSox on May 7 against Rochester was his best.

“In all the rehabs he’s done with me as a manager either here or in Portland, that was the best he’s ever looked. He kept the ball down and his slider had great bite and tilt.”

Tonight marks Day 1 of a second 30-day rehab assignment for Matsuzaka. His first rehab assignment saw him go 0-2 with a 4.62 ERA (13 ER/ 25 1/3 IP) over three levels (Salem, Portland, and Pawtucket).

Dice-K will be opposed by Toledo lefty Casey Crosby (4-2, 4.33). First pitch from McCoy is at 6:05, pre-game coverage begins at 5:50.

Talk with you then.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

Dice-K Scratched From Start in Norfolk

Following a dominating performance by Doug Mathis who surrendered just one hit (a triple) over seven innings, the PawSox wrap up this four-game series – and an eight-game roadtrip – in foggy Norfolk this afternoon.

Despite losing four of its last five games, Pawtucket still owns the best record in the International League at 28-18 and has the most road wins of any club with 14. All that said, just 1.5 games separates first and third place in the North (Lehigh -1.0, Buffalo -1.5).

We will likely see a heavy dosage of the PawSox bullpen this afternoon with reliever Tony Pena Jr. making his second spot-start of the season. Daisuke Matsuzaka was today’s scheduled starter but has been temporarily shutdown after receiving an injection for a sore right trapezius muscle, located in the upper back.

Dice-K will resume his rehab from Tommy John surgery, but at this time it’s unclear when he will start pitching again. (Kelly O’Connor)

Dice-K was scheduled to end his rehab assignment tomorrow, but it is unknown when he will start pitching again.  In five minor league starts (three with the PawSox), the righty surrendered 13 earned runs on 25 hits over 25 ⅓ innings, including six homers.

Pena (0-3, 5.95) made his last spot-start on May 3 at Toledo and picked up the loss surrendering three runs on seven hits over three innings. Interestingly, it was not his longest outing of the year. On April 15, Pena tossed 3 ⅓ innings at Buffalo using up a season-high 75 pitches in long relief.

A former starting shortstop of the Royals, Pena played in 134 games for Kansas City between 2008-09 before being converted into a full-time pitcher.

First pitch today from Harbor Park is scheduled for 12:15, we hit the air at 12:00.

Talk with you then.

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

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