Red Sox getting tired of Dice-K's act

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To say that the Red Sox are disappointed that Daisuke Matsuzaka came out and blamed his health issues on Boston’s trainers is like saying Brett Favre is indecisive.

Or that Randy Johnson is tall. You get the idea.

The BoSox, in fact are not simply “disappointed”, as the ultra polite Terry Francona said on Tuesday. They’re downright furious, like a mushroom-cloud-laying Jules Winnfield from “Pulp Fiction”.

This from the Boston Globe’s Tony Massarotti:

“I think we all share, in a word, that it’s disappointing,” Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell said a short time ago in the Boston clubhouse — veins all but bulging from his neck — in response to critical comments made by Daisuke Matsuzaka. Added Farrell when asked if he was frustrated, “The disappointment comes in airing his dirty laundry.”

Massarotti goes on to write that the Red Sox have been frustrated with Dice-K’s “high-maintenance” act long ago, but put up with him because he won. Now that the right-hander is tossing barbs at the organization, apparently the team is finished playing nice.

In retrospect, what Farrell did not say was that Matsuzaka looked like he spent the winter eating dumplings and shumai, which the Red Sox believe contributed to the pitcher’s problems.

“It’s not just the shoulder,” Farrell said tonight when asked about the importance of proper conditioning. “When the overall body is not in the condition necessary to support that, there has to be some responsibility taken [on the part of the pitcher.]”

So the Red Sox turn the tables, blaming Dice-K for his poor conditioning. It’s not quite “Fat Toad” territory, but pretty darn close.

Dice-K’s comments have not endeared himself to fans. It will be interesting to see where this leads.

Bud Norris exits outing with right knee soreness

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Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.

While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.

 

When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.

Video: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

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Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.