1-0, 5.56 8-0, 2.53
Today the Cards get to face Boston's hundred million dollar man and his Spinning Death Sphere of Ultimate Power Doom Pitch. I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to the Cards hanging the first loss of the year on old Dice-K.
This will be Dice-K's first start back off the disabled list since he suffered a rotator cuff strain at the end of May. Shoulder injuries scare the hell out of me, as they should any Cardinal fan who's been paying any kind of attention the past several years. Even before the injury, Matsuzaka was living dangerously, ripe for a severe case of the mean regressions. His BABIP this year is .237, his HR/air rate is only 3% while pitching in Fenway Park, and his FIP is almost a run and a half higher, (3.97) than his ERA. Hopefully, the Cards can knock him around a bit and start evening out those peripherals.
Boggs will be trying to come back from a bit of a rough outing in his last game. He ended up with a bit of an ugly line, of course, with four runs, all earned, on six hits and two walks in only 4.1 innings. He really did pitch better than that, though, giving up only one run on two hits through the first four innings, cruising through the second, third, and fourth, before he got into a jam in the fifth and just couldn't figure a way out of it. That Philadelphia lineup has a habit of doing that to pitchers, of course. Unfortunately for Boggs and his ERA, though, the Boston lineup isn't much easier to navigate. Personally, I think Boggs has the potential to be a pretty serviceable #4 type starter, he just needs some more seasoning and adjustment.