OK, Francona: what have you done with the real Daisuke Matsuzaka?

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Patriots’ Day in Boston means three things: the Boston Marathon, drinking at 8AM and an 11AM start for the Red Sox game.  Which, in turn, gives you plenty of time after 2PM or so to go and have some more beers. I could at least enjoy one of those things today, what the Red Sox-Blue Jays game on my little television.  It just went final: the Red Sox win 9-1.

The offensive explosion was something to behold — with Jed Lowrie going 4 for 5 with a homer and 4 RBI — but the real shocker here was Daisuke Matsuzaka.  Or at least, whoever it was that was wearing his uniform today, because I’ve never seen Dice-K this efficient and effective.  He threw 89 pitches in eight innings while giving up only one hit and walking only one guy.  He had a five-pitch inning for cryin’ out loud.  I’m fairly certain it was someone else pitching while the real Dice-K sits tied up in a storage locker someplace. Or, if you insist on ignoring my conspiracy theories, you can chalk it up to the week between starts. He has always done better on extra rest, so fine, maybe he hasn’t been kidnapped.

Of course, with Lowrie breaking out like he has lately, perhaps Marco Scutaro may be the next one to show up on the missing persons list. Because I don’t think we’ll be seeing him for a while.

Three straight wins for the Sox. Are they over the early season funk?

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.