- I've seen enough of Matsuzaka over the last few weeks to be convinced that he's a very good pitcher, but he wasn't at his best last night. Five runs in seven innings isn't awful or anything, but it's not exactly anything to crow about either, which is why I was confused to see all of Fenway Park rise to give Matsuzaka a standing ovation as he left the game. Really? You're that psyched about an ERA of 6.43? I mean... it's not my place to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't be applauding... but, weird.
- Wil Nieves really needs a hit. It's been... well, it's been literally years. I'm pulling for him, because he seems like an awfully nice guy, but really, if Posada is out for any extended period of time, the Yankees are beyond fucked. Nieves can't catch a break -- two sharp line drives last night, but both hit right at Sox fielders. Then he dislocated a finger catching a Colter Bean pitch, had the trainer pop it back in, and caught four more innings. Yeeargh! I can't decide if this is admirable or stupid; probably both.
- Emergency backup-backup catcher Josh Phelps, usually a first basemen and not even all that great at fielding there, did a surprisingly solid job filling in Nieves in the ninth, catching Sean Henn. There were many opportunities for disaster and you hardly could have blamed Phelps, catching for the first time since 2001, but there were no passed balls, no wild throws. I assume someone on the bench was telling him what to call, but in any case, Henn got through the inning uneventfully. If they could do this more often, it'd give them some nice flexibility...
- I'm a little worried about this Hughes thing. He's only made 3 starts in AAA, and great prospects are not always great pitchers -- certainly not always in their first major league starts. It's a lot of pressure on the kid, and a lot of potential for disappointment if he can't deliver right away. But hey... already bought my ticket for Thursday.
And now onto tonight's games, as Kei Igawa has apparently decided that throwing fifty pitches in two innings would be a good strategic move. Whee!