Yankees take 5-1 lead in 3rd inning, knock out Dice-K

Well, you can close the book on Daisuke Matsuzaka's career with the Red Sox and, quite possibly, his career in North America's major-league baseball.

And it wasn't pretty. After dispatching the Yankees in the first inning with only six pitches, he gave up a three-run homer (Curtis Granderson's 42nd of the season) in the second inning, and a two-run homer (Robinson Cano's 32nd) in the third. When Matsuzaka was pulled from the contest by Bobby Valentine, he left with a) a great number of kind words from his teammates, and b) an 8.28 ERA this season, in 11 starts.

Ultimately, the Red Sox spent $103 million -- plus whatever it costs to hire an interpreter for six years -- and got exactly 50 regular-season victories, plus three more in the postseason. They did win the World Series in 2007, Matsuzaka's rookie campaign. But they might well have won it without him.

Anyway, that chapter in Red Sox history is now over. Tonight, they're down 5-1 and, if they lose, they'll have essentially handed the American League East flag to their biggest rivals this week.

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