After two years of frustrating performances but solid statistics, Daisuke Matsuzaka showed what he could do in the biggest of stages last night. He won last year's ALCS Game 7 but was far from dominant. Last night, he was. Sure, he had runners on base for a great deal of the evening and seemed to be a pitch or two away from having damage done to him. To be frank, that's how it's going to be with Dice-K and we should enjoy the ride. The man won 18 games this year for a reason and, more often than not, gives the Sox a chance to win every game he pitches.
Last night's win was important because it puts the onus on the Rays to come out and win tonight's game against Josh Beckett. If Beckett is anywhere close to what he can be, the Rays could very well be heading to Bean Town down 2-0. He needs to show more command with his fast ball and stray from throwing so many breaking balls in the dirt.
Don't underestimate Justin Masterson inducing Evan Longoria into that double play last night either. Confidence is not lacking with Masterson but getting Dice-K out of that jam won't hurt his psyche either.