On one of the most historic nights in the rich history of the Durham Bulls Baseball Club, a sellout crowd of 10,064 watched two international megastars collide in a star-studded evening at the DBAP. Rehabbing Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka was dealt the loss, as the Hideki Matsui led Bulls rode the arm of Jim Paduch to a 5-0 shutout victory on Thursday, May 17, 2012.
After an hour rain delay to begin the game, Matsuzaka gave up a leadoff homer to Jesus Feliciano, who hooked the fifth pitch of the game off the right field foul pole. After settling own and throwing four scoreless frames, Dice-K ran into trouble in the sixth.
|Japanese media swarmed the DBAP in anticipation of the match-up between Matsui and Dice-K. Thirty-five members of the Japanese sports press were in Durham for Matsui’s first game with the Bulls on Tuesday. Check out the make shift press room the Bulls put together and see more about the behind-the-scenes goings on in George Habel’s blog Note to Self entry entitled “Matsui’s Entourage.”
With one out and a runner on first, Matsui hit into what could have been a double play. Instead, for the second straight night, Matsui was awarded first on catcher’s interference by Ryan Lavarnaway.
Henry Wrigley stepped up to the plate and crushed a ball over the Snorting Bull sign, a three run shot to put the Bulls up 4-0. Durham would tag on a fifth run thanks to a leadoff triple from second baseman Cole Figueroa and a sac fly by Mayo Acosta.
Matsuzaka finished his rehab appearance throwing 6 2/3 innings, allowing 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB and 2 HR, while striking out three.
Without the fanfare surrounding him, Bulls pitcher Jim Paduch (2-1, 2.74) was excellent against the rehabbing big leaguer. Paduch tossed six shutout innings allowing only four hits, while walking two and striking out three. Dane De La Rosa picked up for Paduch in the 7th and pitched two scoreless innings before Brandon Gomes shut things down for the Bulls in the 9th inning.
Matsuzaka finished his rehab appearance throwing 6 2/3 innings, allowing 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER
Note the Japanese sponsor (a law firm) on the press back-drop for a Matsui conference.
Matsui finished the night 0-3 with a run scored. He was again plagued by the Pawtucket shift and narrowly missed homering in the 8th.
The Pawtucket Red Sox and Durham Bulls conclude their four game set tomorrow evening at 7:05pm. The Red Sox will send out RHP Ross Ohlendorf (3-3, 4.91) against International League Pitcher of the Week RHP Chris Archer (3-4, 4.71).
Thanks to the Durham Bulls for this capcom story & to CS’ George Habel for these capcom photos.