Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Matsuzaka aims to repeat Game 1 performance

Daisuke Matsuzaka plans to rely again on a sinker-like pitch that helped him pitch seven shutout innings in Boston’s Game 1 win.


Daisuke Matsuzaka plans to rely again on a sinker-like pitch that helped him pitch seven shutout innings in Boston’s Game 1 win.

BOSTON — Daisuke Matsuzaka plans to redeploy the shuto pitch against the Rays tonight as he attempts to prolong the Red Sox's season in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series.

Matsuzaka said he didn't use the sinker-like pitch much in the regular season but used it often in a seven-inning, four-hit win over the Rays in Game 1, in which he struck out nine and took a no-hitter into the seventh.

"I didn't have a good feel for a lot of my pitches or any one pitch that was working particularly well, so I did rely on it a little bit more," he said through an interpreter.

Matsuzaka, who led the AL in walks but harnessed his control in controlling the Rays, improved to 3-1 in the postseason.

"I'm not (Josh) Beckett, but if I can pitch like he did last year and hand the ball off to the guys behind me, that would be great," he said.

MY SPACE: Manager Terry Francona said his pitchers must re-establish dominion over the inside portion of the plate to hinder the Rays' offensive mind-set that has been aggressive and damaging, with a .287 average and 10 home runs.

"That doesn't mean you try and hit people. That would be incorrect," he said. "But to try to get in and not let them get their arms extended is important."

LAUNDRY: Boston has lost four straight to the Rays at Fenway Park. "It's a little shocking," said C Kevin Cash, a Tampa native and former Ray. "If you look at our past games this season, it's sort of been lopsided to who had the homefield advantage. For us to get the first one at Tropicana, that was huge. To bring it back here and not have anything to show for it, yes it's a little frustrating." … RHP Mike Timlin made his 25th career LCS appearance to tie Yankees RHP Mariano Rivera for the all-time lead. … The Red Sox have won their past seven elimination games in ALCS play.

Matsuzaka aims to repeat Game 1 performance 10/15/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 16, 2008 4:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Yankees game

    The Heater

    The 10 strikeouts look flashy, but RHP Chris Archer was not his sharpest Thursday. He allowed three runs on seven hits, including three straight in the two-run second and a Gary Sanchez homer in the third, and lasted only six innings, throwing 102 pitches.

  2. Rays fall to Yankees in 11 on Brett Gardner homer (w/ video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The front office did its part Thursday, making two trades to bolster the roster in a push for the playoffs. But the Rays didn't follow up in a frustrating 6-5 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

    Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge stands on the mound and can only watch as the Yankees’ Brett Gardner starts to circle the bases after his walkoff home run leading off the 11th inning.
  3. Believe it! Rays are buyers, trade for reliever Dan Jennings and 1B/DH Lucas Duda

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Dan Jennings' ability to render lefty hitters useless with a sinker that gets beaten into the ground and Lucas Duda's power to blast baseballs off and over outfield walls should make the Rays better.

    Lucas Duda
  4. Bucs' direction is decidedly up for first time in several years


    TAMPA — If you want to see a team give the Heisman Trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Tight end O.J. Howard, left, the Bucs’ first-round draft pick this year, was brought in to give QB Jameis Winston another big-play option.
  5. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Friday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.