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Have I made a “roll the Daisuke” pun yet? I haven’t? Good. May 6, 2014

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball.
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I like what Terry Collins is doing with Daisuke Matsuzaka. I know Daisuke had never pitched in relief in his career, but Terry broke him in with a couple of clean-inning appearances that probably felt a lot like starting a game. Matsuzaka was also useful as long-relief in one of the extra-innings games and in providing a solid backup plan for Zach Wheeler and Jenrry Mejia in case they get wild, and for Bartolo Colon‘s back.

Daisuke had a rough game last night, coming in to relieve Jon Niese in the eighth to set up the Mets’ *sigh* closer, Kyle Farnsworth. In 10.1 innings pitched, Matsuzaka had allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and 6 walks, striking out 13 for an ERA of 1.74 on an average 1.3 days rest. On one day’s rest, Daisuke opened the inning with two walks and a single, followed by a crushing error by Omar Quintanilla that kept Casey McGehee alive. Granted, the game looks different if McGehee was out, and Terry probably wouldn’t have been as quick to hook him and put in Kyle Farnsworth. Still, in a game that was tied going into the 9th, it’s hard not to look at that unearned run as a game-changer. Mastuzaka left with three runs, two earned, and no outs; his ERA doubled, spiking to 3.48.

Matsuzaka isn’t the only pitcher in that position this year; in April, Nate Jones of the White Sox appeared in two consecutive games and faced a total of five batters. He failed to make any outs, walking three and allowing two hits. Each day, he was responsible for two earned runs. Though Jones is no longer with the White Sox, his zero innings pitched and four earned runs give him the theoretical infinite ERA (4/0; remember your baby calculus class? 4/x has a limit of infinity as x approaches 0). Jones had back surgery yesterday and will be off the mound for the foreseeable future.

On the other end of the scale, Shawn Tolleson appeared as a Dodger only once in 2013, walking two batters – neither of whom scored – before going out for back surgery that shut him down for the season. Since neither batter scored, Tolleson’s ERA is undefined, as a 0/0.  Tolleson’s having a much more normal season as a Ranger this year.

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