Dice-K delivers to home plate during Game 1 of ALCS. (AP Photo)
The greatest trick Dice-K ever pulled was convincing the baseball world he couldn't pitch. Dice-K's magical season rose to a crescendo last night in the Trop as he composed an utterly brilliant game for the Boston Red Sox. Winning a Game 1 when you're the road team in a playoff series is just huge. Especially when you have Beckett and Lester waiting in the shadows ready to pitch games 3 & 4. People have been on Dice-K all season because of his unorthodox style of approaching hitters. They've thrown his stats out the window because he's pitched a style that they're just not used to. Am I used to his style yet? Hell no. Do I like the results of his style? Hell Yes.
There's three things that he has on the mound that make him so successful. He has confidence, he's fearless, and he's a stubborn son of a bitch. He often reminds me of Pedro in his prime. Not with their pitching styles, but with their coyness and ability to own the mound when on it. It's like watching a master work within his craft, and it's really fun. It's maddening to a lot of people because we've been led to believe that you have to be a husky 6'2'' red neck from Texas in order to be able to pitch well. But Dice-K's mind games and magic acts have proven over and over again that his way, is his way, and it's how he's going to approach the game.
But in the end that's what's the best part about magic, no matter how you break it down, you just can't figure out how it's done. And that's the allure of Dice-K, he takes things from the impossible, to the real, and it's a joy to watch.