Friday, March 16, 2007

If Daisuke Isn't Swinging, Can We Still Bean Him?

The Red Sox play the Dodgers today in Vero Beach, and a little-known pitcher named Daisuke Matsuzaka will take the mound for the Sox. Given it's a NL home game, this would mean this rookie could get some swings of the bat, right?

Not if manager Terry Francona has anything to say about it:

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Terry Francona called Daisuke Matsuzaka into his office to show him video of the Japanese pitcher's only home run. Then the Boston Red Sox manager made sure there would be no repeat Friday. Francona told Matsuzaka not to swing when he comes to bat against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a game with no designated hitter at Vero Beach. Francona believes it's not worth risking an injury to the outstanding rookie on a spring training swing even if he did hit a homer last June 9 against ex-major leaguer Darwin Cubillan of Hanshin in an interleague game. Matsuzaka's former club, the Seibu Lions, don't use the DH in the Pacific League. "I called him in yesterday and showed him his home run. I had it on my computer," Francona said before Thursday night's game against the New York Mets. "So I told him I know he's a good hitter and to save it because he's not swinging."

Here's hoping Dodger starter Hong-Chih Kuo pitches 'em high and inside. First pitch, 10.10a PDT.


Delino DeShields said...

Remember when Korean pitcher Dae-Sung Koo got a double off Randy Johnson? He apparently had not gotten a hit since high school! I want to see Dice-K break out the lumber. For what they paid for him, he should be batting, stealing, sliding, and fluffing.

Steve Sax said...

After reading the recap of Hong-Chih Kuo's performance, it's clear that we can't hit Daisuke. Or the strike zone, for that matter.