Watching Daisuke Matsuzaka shut out the powerful Angels lineup for six-plus innings was undoubtedly heartening to the Red Sox. For starters, Matsuzaka made it into the seventh inning for the first time this season. Matsuzaka, who turned 29 just two days earlier, had failed to do so in any of his previous eight starts. The reason he was finally able to get that deep into the game was effectiveness; 70 percent of the hitters Dice-K faced tonight had two strikes on them within the first three pitches. On those rare occasions when Matsuzaka got behind in the count, opponents batted just .167 against him. In his first eight starts it was .391. The other reason Dice-K made it into the seventh for the first time was economy; the righty threw just 93 pitches, 52 of them for strikes.
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Article written by Sean Kennedy