Tuesday August 28, 2012 | 06:16 AM

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched seven innings and was a strike machine (101 pitches/71 strikes), allowing five hits, no earned runs and two walks, along with six strikeouts.

His fastball reportedly was up to 94 mph.

Dice-K looked like the pitcher who first arrived in Boston, with so much fanfare six years ago.

Would Boston want Matsuzaka back next year?

As for Josh Beckett, the pitcher the Red Sox did not want back next month, he made his debut for the Dodgers and looked about the same: 5 2/3 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 6 K.

Now that the Red Sox no longer have Adrian Gonzalez, the initial trade for him - and his long-term contract - come under scrutiny. Part of that trade with the Padres, before the 2011 season, involved pitching prospect Casey Kelly.

Kelly made his major league debut Monday against the Braves: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

Ouch.

Another part of that Gonzalez deal - first-baseman Anthony Rizzo - was 1-for-4 for the Cubs (batting .288), with his 28th RBI in 54 games.

Now for a pitcher still under the Red Sox control: Stolmy Pimentel.

Pimentel took the loss for the Sea Dogs Monday night but, as is usually the case with Stolmy you have to look past his pitching line (6 IP, 8 H, 4 R [2 ER], 1 BB, 5 K).

After starting the game by allowing a single and double, Pimentel retired 15 of the next 17 batters. He faltered in the sixth, hurt also by an infield error.

Pimentel continues to look like bullpen material. He has one more minor league option, in 2013. I look for him to be in the PawSox bullpen at the start of next year.

With the Sea Dogs loss, they are one loss (or Reading win) away from being eliminated from the playoffs.

Here is a look at the American League East and Wild Card, and Eastern League East standings:

AL EAST
Yankees 74-54
Orioles 70-57 (3.5 back)
Rays 70-58 (4)
Red Sox 62-67 (12.5)
Blue Jays 57-70 (16.5)

WILD CARD
A’s 70-57
Orioles 70-57
Rays 70-58 (0.5 back)
Tigers 69-58 (1)
Angels 66-62 (4.5)
Mariners 62-67 (9)
Red Sox 62-67 (9)

EASTERN LEAGUE EAST
(Top 2 make playoffs)
Trenton 76-59
Reading 72-63 (4 back)
New Britain 69-66 (7)
Portland 65-69 (10.5)
 

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

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