Hours after Jimmy Leyland dismissed Daisuke Matzusaka as just “another pitcher” in a cuss-filled tirade, his Detroit charges followed suit with the Boston Herald’s Jeff Horrigan. Trouble is, said comments came in the wake of Matzusaka’s complete game (6 hits, 5 K’s, no walks), 6-1 victory Monday evening.
œHe was all right, Detroit third baseman Brandon Inge (0-for-3) said. œIt took a while to get used to him. . . . He didn™t stand out to me like the most dominating thing I™ve ever seen.
Tigers first baseman Sean Casey (0-for-3) also wasn™t about to anoint the game™s next superstar.
œThis is the big leagues, Casey said. œThere are a lot of good pitchers in the big leagues, and he™s one of them.
Matsuzaka™s cut-fastball had exceptional movement at times, resulting in 16 ground-ball outs. Tigers designated hitter Gary Sheffield said the pitch was actually similar to Sox ace Curt Schilling [stats]™s cutter.
œIt™s in on your hands, and you give up on it, and then it cuts back over the plate, said Sheffield (1-for-4). œHe won™t let you go out and get the bat head on it.
Even Matsuzaka, whose 124 pitches were the most thrown by a Red Sox hurler since Schilling™s 133 in Cleveland on April 24, 2006, seemed unimpressed by the effort.
œI wouldn™t say that my stuff was the best that I™ve ever had with the Red Sox so far, but as for the results, I™m definitely the most happy about what happened today, Matsuzaka said through a translator. œBut at the same time, I don™t want to settle and have to say that going forward, the way I pitched today was the best I can pitch. I hope to improve continually.