*Daisuke Matsuzaka's flirtation with a no-hitter was absolutely can't-miss television. I haven't been riveted by a baseball game like that in a long time. I have attended over 300 Major League Baseball games and I have seen three one-hitters. The kicker? In each of those games, the pitcher gave up the one hit in either the first or second innings, so there was never any drama.
I felt in the pit of my stomach that Dice-K was going to get it done, and it would have been truly a team effort, as the defense was great.
Although he did give up the hit, Matsuzaka made the evening one to remember and highlighted a tremendous week of starting pitching for the resurrgent Red Sox.
*Speaking of Matsuzaka and despite his loss last night to the Royals, Boston has to be feeling good about itself. The sweep of Tampa Bay was an official statement from Terry Francona and the team that the Sox are not going to go quietly this season.
*Adrian Beltre has been on fire as of late, and it looks as though his offensive production will help him settle down in the field and play with confidence. He should be a confident fielder because from the 3rd base position, he has a very strong arm and when he is playing relaxed, his soft hands make him a potent devensive player. However, when he is even slightly unsure, he shows stone hands and an inability to make quick, proper decisions on how to field balls and he can take akward steps. After his two homerun preformance against Tampa Bay, I feel more confident about my prediction of 15 for him.
*David Ortiz is once again making his manager looks like a genius. Francona had to be getting itchy and thinking about making the move of Ortiz to the pasture. Instead, Francona held on to Ortiz and Big Papi is making good on it has been on fire. He has 10 HR's on the season and is third in all of baseball this month in home runs. Even his outs lately have been outs.
*It is hard not to notice the better pitching numbers when Jason Varitek is behind the dish as opposed to when Victor Martinez dons the Tools of Ignorance. Francona might be in a tough spot soon, because when Martinez is feeling better, there is no other place for him to play; however, the run prevention unit is much better with Varitek catching. What is more important to the ultimate success of the team, Martinez' bat or Varitek's glove? That is honestly a tough call.
*I used to wonder exactly what type of player Kevin Youkilis would be once he became a full-time player. Obviously, I am very pleased with the answer. However, it does make me question of my basic beliefs in baseball, and that is the idea that prospects are always better off playing daily in the minors rather than sitting and learning with the big club.
*Finally, I have to admit that I am developing a liking of Jeremy Hermida. That guy seems to get just about everything out of his ability.