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Game 2: Boston vs. LA Angels

Match-up: Daisuke Matsuzaka(15-12, 4.40) vs Kelvim Escobar(18-6, 3.40).

It’s time for Dice-K to prove he’s worth all that money. The Red Sox got him after his MVP performance in the World Baseball Classic where he went 3-0 1.88 ERA. If it weren’t for Dice-K’s dominating performances in pressure-packed situations, Boston may not have made the push for him. Now it’s time for that Dice-K to show what he’s made of.

Matsuzaka has struggled this last part of the season. In his last 8 starts, dating back to August 15th, his ERA is 7.14. Besides that stretch Matsuzaka has a 3.59 ERA. In pressure situations, however, he has been fantastic. The three different faces of Dice-K. Who will show up tonight is anyone’s guess.

Keep in mind Matsuzaka has never faced the LA Angels and the Angels have never faced him. I’d say a pitcher stands a better chance against hitters who have never seen them. Others say the hitter does. No strict advantage either way.

Kelvim Escobar is another guy who has been having a Cy-Young type season. In 195.2 innings he has only allowed 11 home-runs. Beckett has allowed 17, Matsuzaka 25, and Schilling 21 (in 39.2 less innings) as a comparison. Kelvim has 18 wins and a 3.40 ERA with a .248 average against.

Kelvim hasn’t faced Boston this year but he has 99 innings against Boston in his career where he has a 4.64 ERA. In Fenway he has a 4.30 ERA. All about average numbers going against Boston’s usually high powered offense. No one has done particularly well against Escobar, especially Ortiz and Manny. Here are some numbers against the Angels projected starter.

Against Escobar AB H 2B HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
David Ortiz 24 4 0 1 3 .167 .259 .292
Manny Ramirez 32 7 3 1 4 .219 .343 .406
Jason Varitek 21 7 0 0 4 .333 .500 .333
Coco Crisp 14 5 2 0 1 .357 .471 .500
Mike Lowell 15 5 1 0 1 .333 .333 .400

See what happens. GO SOX!

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