Games from the 3rd:
Seattle Mariners 7 - Tampa Bay Rays 0
Ichiro Suzuki started in right and batted first. He went 0-for-4: ground out to second, walk (run scored), ground out to the pitcher, ground out to short, ground out to second.
Boston Red Sox 8 - Oakland A's 6
Hideki Matsui was the starting DH and batted fourth. He went 0-for-5: RBI ground out to short (run scored), strikeout looking, line out to center, strikeout swinging, pop out to short.
Texas Rangers 11 - Cleveland Indians 2
Yoshinori Tateyama entered the game in the 8th, with the Rangers up 11-1, and gave up a run (solo homer to the first batter he faced) over an inning of work. Final line: 1 IP, 4 BF, 21-13 NP-S, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR.
St Louis Cardinals 6 - Chicago Cubs 1
Kosuke Fukudome started in right and batted first. He went 0-for-4: strikeout swinging, ground out to second, ground out to the pitcher, fly out to left.
Cincinnati Reds 2 - Los Angeles Dodgers 1
Hiroki Kuroda started the game and gave up 2 runs (both earned) over 6 innings of work and took the loss. Kuroda is now 5-6 on the year. Final line: 6 IP, 27 BF, 114-60 NP-S, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR.
Pawtucket Red Sox 6 - Durham Bulls 3
Hideki Okajima entered the game in the 7th, with Pawtucket up 6-2 and a runner on first and no out. Okajima allowed the inherited run to score on a wild pitch and a double, but did not allow any additional runs to score over 2 innings of work. Final line: 2 IP, 8 BF, 19-14 NP-S, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR.
Hideki Okajima apparently wants out of Boston. Via WEEI:
"It was very disappointing," Okajima said through translator Jeff Cutler regarding being designated for assignment. "Having experienced that, right now I'm just working hard on myself to make sure I'm pitching well so I can put myself up for a trade at some point."
When asked if he wants to be traded, the 35-year-old said in English, "Yes."
"Being taken off the 40-man, to me, means the team no longer needs me," Okajima said through Cutler. "So I'm just looking to move on with my career at this point."
Daisuke Matsuzaka will probably undergo surgery sometime next week. From ESPN's Gordon Edes:
BOSTON--Daisuke Matsuzaka left Friday night without speaking to reporters, leaving Red Sox manager Terry Francona to make the announcement that the Japanese pitcher will have Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow, "probably next week," and that the procedure will be done by orthopedist Lewis Yocum in southern California.
From SI.com's Tom Verducci-
Matsuzaka, given a six-year deal, was the seventh starting pitcher to leave NPB for MLB between 1995-2008. All of them pitched worse or broke down after some initial success, typically after about three years of full-time starting. Hideo Nomo, the first starter in that wave, was 43-29 with a 3.34 ERA in his first three seasons, but 80-80 with a 4.66 ERA thereafter.
Matsuzaka was 37-21 with a 4.00 ERA and one 200-inning season through his first three seasons, but since then is 12-9 with a 4.81 ERA.
The transition can be a grueling one. NPB pitchers often throw once per week with high pitch counts and rigorous throwing programs in a five-month season with a slightly smaller ball, then must adapt to pitching every fifth day for six months against lineups that play more of a power game. Boston is considered to be at the cutting edge of keeping pitchers healthy -- what's known in the industry as "prehabilitation" -- and yet not even the Red Sox could get their $103 million investment to the mound often enough. Matsuzaka will have given the Red Sox an average of little more than 100 innings per year over the life of the contract at a cost of about $17.2 million per year.
From HardballTalk Aaron Gleeman-
Between the posting fee to win his exclusive negotiations rights and the six-year contract Boston made a total investment of $103 million in Matsuzaka. What did they get for that money?
According to Fan Graphs’ player evaluation system that performance was worth about $44 million and Matsuzaka also had a 4.79 ERA in seven postseason starts, so let’s bump that up to around $50 million. There are probably also plenty of off-field factors involved in his overall value to the team, but strictly in terms of on-field performance for a six-year, $103 million investment the Red Sox received approximately $50 million worth of value in the form of one good season, two decent seasons, and two (and likely three) bad seasons.
And the media is bringing up the following three Japanese players that have had TJ surgery in the past: Choji Murata, Daisuke Araki, and Masumi Kuwata.
And Matsuzaka tweeted the following (1, 2):
Hello everyone. An announcement was officially made by the [Red Sox] the other day. It was decided that I will undergo TJ surgery on my right elbow. I still don't know when it will happen, but it will be conducted by Dr. Lewis Yocum. I wasn't able to post any tweets until the announcement was made official, but now that it's out, I hope to keep [everyone] a little more updated about my progress. I'll try not to get too gloomy.
Bobby Valentine will be helping the City of Stamford organize a fundraiser to help raise money for relief efforts in northern Japan.
Bobby Valentine's interest in helping the victims of the disaster is both professional and personal, having lived and managed the Chiba Motte Marines in Japan for almost seven years. " Japan needs all of the help we are able to provide," enthuses Valentine. "Everyone involved in this effort is committed to making sure that the money raised directly assists the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. It will take time for Japan to recover, and it will require both short-term emergency assistance and long-term aid. I am committed to a sustained effort to assist Japan's recovery effort."
(via Baseball Musings)