Daisuke Matsuzaka tossed seven innings of one-run ball in his first start back after missing two months with a neck injury, but he’s allowed 11 runs in five innings since then and it sounds like the Red Sox have just about seen enough.
Matsuzaka failed to make it out of the second inning Saturday against the Blue Jays and is now 1-5 with a 7.20 ERA in eight starts since returning from Tommy John elbow surgery.
Asked about his status, manager Bobby Valentine told Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal that he’s “not sure” if Matsuzaka will remain in the rotation and added that “we’re going to have some meetings here, with him too … he was very disappointed yesterday and so was I.”
In past years the Red Sox have stuck with Matsuzaka through similar struggles, but the big difference this time around is that his contract is finally over after this season. Boston isn’t exactly overflowing with quality rotation options at this point, but when Matsuzaka’s time with the Red Sox will be over a month from now anyway there isn’t much motivation to keep trotting him out there.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.