Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Only for Fans of America's Great National Sport

That should actually say for the deluded few who think baseball is still America's national sport. You few read on.

Last night E. and I saw Matzusaka of Boston toss against the A's. Those of you who have read this far know that this is his first year in the States, that he was a great star in Japan, that Japanese pitchers throw more pitches -- both during starts and between starts -- than their American counterparts, the Stateside thought being that you have only so many full-bore efforts in your muscle set in any fixed amount of time. And Matzusaka was a prodigy even in Japan, I think, for throwing as many pitches as he felt like.

So the questions were two: How many pitches will an American pitching coach let him throw? How soon will he burn out?

The first question burned in my mind during preseason but slipped away once the season started since I have two teams -- the A's and my fantasy team, the Six Bunny Wunnies -- and they have had troubles enough to occupy my attention. Thus, last night was the first time I paid attention to how long the Sox would let Matzusaka go.

News is they let him go a long way, 130 pitches over seven innings, giving up only two runs. He lost since his team scored none for him, but he looked good, apparently better than he has in some other starts for his ERA is over four. But that's not the issue. He thinks he knows what he's doing in terms of the strength and resilience of his own arm. Apparently, the Red Sox are going to let him do what he thinks.

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