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June 27, 2007
Sean McAdam is back this morning for another edition of projo SoxTalk. Click here to listen to the full audio file. As he gets ready for today's afternoon series finale in Seattle, he discusses Kason Gabbard's shaky performance last night, Daisuke Matsuzaka's history with Seattle, and the tremendous year that Kevin Youkilis is having.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments.
On Gabbard last night, did he get rattled? "Both Gabbard and Francona thought it was more a matter of delivery when he got into his stretch with a base runner on, and that he couldn't kind of straighten it out. Gabbard said he was a little too quick with his fastball. I don't think it was him being rattled or unnerved; Gabbard had pitched in the big leagues before -- in fact he had made his major league debut in this very ballpark last year -- so it doesn't seem as if it was anything that affected him psychologically or anything, it was just some poorly timed mechanical flaws that made it difficult for him to throw strikes."
On Matsuzaka vs. Seattle: "He got them in the first home series of the year, there was a one-game makeup [of a rainout] back in May where he pitched, and now this, and it is pretty rare for someone outside your division to face you three times in the first 75 games or so. And it will be interesting to see -- given that they do have a little bit of history here, and of course anytime these two teams meet often the focus is the matchup between Matsuzaka and Ichiro, so that's its own little subplot there -- but other than teams outside the American League East, there haven't been a lot of teams that have gotten multiple looks at Dice-K, so it will be interesting to see what kind of adjustments they make and, correspondingly, what he does."
On what Youkilis brings to the Sox: "I think a great deal on both sides of the ball. He grinds out at-bats, never gives an at-bat away. Last couple of nights he's been one of the few bright spots offensively: he had the two-run double in the ninth in the opener here on Monday, had a couple good at-bats last night. It seems like he never slumps. He's always collecting one or two hits. I think he has hit safely in somethihg like 39 of his last 43 games. He's developed a little bit more power this year and ability to drive the ball. And then there's the defensive side, where he's playing a position that is not his natural position, but Youkilis has put the time in and made himself an above-average, certainly, first baseman in a relatively short period of time."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:33 AM to McAdam