In a battle of an ageless dart throwing ace, Greg Maddux, versus a hurler with many pitches, Daisuke Matsuzaka, the two different styles gave fans nothing short of a pure masterpiece.
Although the “professor of the game”, Maddux (6-4) and the San Diego Padres (41-31), were beaten by the “up-and-comer”, Matsuzaka (9-5) and the Boston Red Sox (47-25), by a slim score of 2-1.
After a 32 pitch first inning scuffle giving up one run, Matsuzaka, rebounded to out-duel Maddux going 6 innings, on five hits, one earned run, five walks, and nine strikeouts on 126 pitches.
Maddux did not do too shabby either against the Red Sox lineup. Maddux, also going 6 innings, gave up seven hits, two earned runs, two walks, and two strikeouts on 91 pitches.
Newly acquired Padre, Michael Barrett, started the early scoring on an RBI single to left field that scored Marcus Giles, but Matsuzaka settled down through his last five innings pitching through some trouble locating walking five but only allowing four hits after the first inning.
All the scoring came in the fourth inning off of Maddux for the Red Sox who had only notched one hit through his first three innings of work against him.
Kevin Youkilis picked up his 36th RBI on a single scoring Dustin Pedroia and Jason Varitek singled to center scoring Manny Ramirez making it 2-1.
Then it was a battle of possibly the best bullpens in both leagues.
Boston ran Javier Lopez, Manny Delcarmen, and Hideki Okajima out of the bullpen while the Padres sent out Cla Meredith, Scott Linebrink, and Royce Ring. All of the pitchers on their respective teams rang up goose-eggs on the scoreboard leaving the game up to Jonathan Papelbon versus Terrmel Sledge, Marcus Giles, and Jose Cruz, Jr.
Papelbon struck out Sledge, got Giles to fly out to right field, but Cruz Jr. singled to right putting the go-ahead run at first base for Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
Papelbon stuck to the Red Sox theme of great pitching and key strikeouts that was happening all night long getting Gonzalez to whiff on the ole’ number one securing his 17th save of the season and the Red Sox victory.
Matsuzaka has looked sharp as of late getting his second victory in a row after beating San Francisco in his last start.
Okajima picked up his 12th hold of the season and keeping his ERA below the 1.00 mark.