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Do not give up on Dice K, Sox fans.

by Chris Allen.

Today we have learned that Daisuke will miss his next start in the rotation. We knew with John Smoltz coming back on Thursday there would need to be some room made for him in the rotation. This is the best scenario as far as I am concerned as it keeps Penny in the rotation and takes the struggling Matsuzaka out. When Smoltz is added to the rotation there will still need to be some kind of move in order for him to fit on the 25 man roster. Whether they send down Bard or release Lugo remains to be seen. If Bard is sent down he could easily be brought back up again if Dice K was to go on the DL. The struggles of Dice K has come at a good time because Penny is pitching good and there is plenty of depth waiting in Pawtucket (Buchholz and Bowden) for the chance to pitch.
While I am disappointed with Daisuke's results this year, I still have hope that he can contribute later this year. This opinion does not seem to be shared by many of my fellow Red Sox fans. In fact most people want the Red Sox to trade him or just release him! Give me a break. This is a former 18 game winner and proven pitcher. Unless you are going to get some superstar player in return, Daisuke should be a part of the rotation for the rest of his contract. Here are a few myths about Daisuke that Red Sox fans need to let go.
Myth #1: "Daisuke was lucky last year!" Please. 18 wins in 29 games is not luck. While it's true he walked a ton of people, 94 last year, he consistantly pitched out of trouble, finishing the year with a 2.90 ERA. Now we might not like the way he pitches, constantly walking hitters, refusing to challenge them, it is untrue to call him lucky. Why is he struggling this year? Is he unlucky? No he is struggling because he is either having trouble with his mechanics or he's hurt. In 2008 he only gave up 7 hits per nine innings and ended striking out 154 batters in 167 and 2/3 innings. When there were men on base, opposing batters only hit .194 against Daisuke. That is not luck, it is bearing down and making tough pitches when needed.
Myth #2: "Daisuke won 18 games because of good run support!" No, Daisuke won 18 games because he only allowed 2.90 runs per game. There may have been a few games when the offense picked him up but if he was only giving up three runs per game, then the offense did not need to score much to get him a win.
Whatever is wrong with Daisuke the team is better when he is pitching good. He might only go five or six innings per game and he will drive us crazy with the number of walks, but he is a proven starting pitcher. He has also won 3 out of 5 postseason starts, including a game seven.


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