One thing that we're most likely going to see different in game 2 is the Boston bullpen. Jon Lester is known for being able to go deep into games, something Daisuke is not. This season Lester has thrown in 210.1 innings in 33 games, for an average of just over 6 innings per game. And went 7 full innings in game 1 before turning the game over to Masterson in the 8th. Matsuzaka has pitched a total of 167.2 innings over the regular season this year, in 29 games, lasting just under 6 innings per game. That is the second-lowest number of innings tossed by a pitcher with 18 wins in MLB history. Meaning, quite simply, Boston is going to have to put more weight on their achilles heel known as their bullpen.
Gone are Matsuzaka's days with Yokohama High School, a perenial Japanese powerhouse. In their 1998 Summer Koshien Matsuzaka threw a 148-pitch complete game shutout, a 250-pitch 17-inning game the following night, and then started in left field the next night before coming in as a reliever in the top of the 9th inning and earning the win in only 15 pitches.
Daisuke also leads the American League in walks this season with 94. What this does is gives Anaheim speedsters Chone Figgins and Torii Hunter a better chance at getting on base. Figgins leads the Angels in stolen bases, with 34, and Hunter has 19 thefts himself.
But don't lose any faith in Daisuke, he is Boston's most winningest pitcher this season and the bullpen has proven to be there for him when he needed them. He is also nearly flawless in getting out of big innings when there's runners in scoring position.
Expect this game to be a close fought battle all the way until the end. It will also be interesting to see if Scioscia starts having his offense play the short game with a hit and run offense if Matsuzaka starts walking people. I think we will see Okajima and Delcarmen in as middle relief before the lights are turned out by Masterson and Papelbon in the 8th and 9th.
Game time is scheduled for 9:30pm Eastern, 6:30 Pacific, at Angels Stadium in Anaheim California. Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday at 7:17pm Eastern, 4:17pm Pacific, at Fenway Park in Boston. Game 3 will see the match-up between Joe Saunders for the Angels, and the Red Sox's ace Josh Beckett, who was bumped from his scheduled Wednesday start during game 1 due to a strained oblique muscle.
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