Daisuke Matsuzaka, coming off the best two-start stretch of his Red Sox career, left Friday night’s game against the Mariners in the fifth inning with right elbow tightness.
Dice-K didn’t show any obvious signs of injury before being removed. Jason Varitek came out to chat with him following an Ichiro Suzuki single in the fifth and then called for the training. After a conversation, he left the game and was replaced by Matt Albers.
Matsuzaka allowed two runs in the first, one of which was uearned. He was changed with a third run, also unearned, after departing in the fifth.
The Red Sox have always opted to tread carefully with Matsuzaka, so it’s safe to assume he’ll be placed on the DL after this one. Rotation depth is an issue for the team at the moment, as the team’s projected six-through-eight starters have all spent time in the bullpen this month. Tim Wakefield is still there, of course. Felix Doubront and Alfredo Aceves both recently returned to Triple-A Pawtucket to start, and Aceves threw five innings in his outing today.
Aceves figures to be the eventual choice to replace Dice-K on the roster, but since he won’t be available for a few days, Michael Bowden could get the callup on Saturday.
The weather in Cleveland is not that great at the moment. It’s cold, windy, there’s drizzle and the chance for heavier rain increases as the night wears on. At the moment Game 2 of the World Series is still scheduled to kick off at 7:08PM Eastern Time, however. So bundle up.
And maybe hunker down. Because this game is going to go nine innings no matter what. Maybe not tonight, but eventually.
That’s because, you may recall, ever since that rainy, snowy mix forced the suspension in the sixth inning of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series between the Phillies and the Marlins, Major League Baseball has held that all playoff games will be played in their entirety. There will be no six-inning, rain-shortened affairs.
The last word from MLB was that they would reassess the weather just before starting pitchers began to warm up this evening. If things still look about the same then, the game will proceed as scheduled. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, they’ll suspend the game and pick it up where it leaves off tomorrow.
A man named Ken Kostal of Marblehead, Ohio was just trying to get home from Los Angeles yesterday morning. He looked over and saw former Indians great Kenny Lofton in the boarding area, trying to fly standby to Cleveland. Why was Lofton trying to get to Cleveland? To throw out the first pitch in last night’s Game 1 of the World Series, of course.
Kostal gave up his seat to Lofton and Lofton made it to Cleveland in time. But don’t weep for Kostal. He got more than a ticket on the next flight and some federally-mandated bonus cash. The Indians just announced that they are giving Kostal tickets for Game 6, if necessary. In addition, United Airlines is giving Kostal 62,200 miles for his use on a future flight. Why 62,200? Because Lofton had 622 career stolen bases.
That’s pretty dang sweet. And now Kostal is probably rooting for the Tribe to drop a couple of games so he can go to the World Series on the house.