Daisuke Matsuzaka delivered his eighth win of the season yesterday, lowering his E.R.A. to 4.18 with seven shutout innings against Barry Bonds and the Giants.
Let's review the Matsuzaka record, amidst a transition to the Hitters' League from Japanese baseball.
- Eight wins, tied for fourth in the AL
- Ninety-three strikeouts, fifth in the AL
- Three losses where he surrendered three runs or less
- A 4.18 E.R.A. 28th in the AL
- Strikeout to walk ratio of over three; K/BB ratio predicts future E.R.A. better than previous E.R.A. itself
- Last three games, 20 innings, 14 hits, 4 runs, 25 strikeouts, 9 walks, E.R.A. 1.80
Matsuzaka has helped pitch the Sox to an 8 1/2 game lead, and has done so with grace, humility, and lately very little run support.
What Sox fans and AL hitters have yet to see the complete package of full command and control, but slowly we acknowledge that Matsuzaka's acquisition represents a coup in baseball's Tong Wars. The Sox have a young, likeable, top-of-the-rotation starter with both talent and duende. And it may get better than that...as he learns the hitters and makes the adjustments that superior players do.