Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched five strong innings in his season debut for the Pawtucket Red Sox on Saturday afternoon. Matsuzaka was scheduled to throw 80 to 85 pitches in the outing but finished with 73 pitches (43 strikes) striking out three batters while only issuing two hits in the outing.
When told he only threw 73 pitches, Matsuzaka said he probably would have been available for another innings worth of work if allowed to by the coaching staff.
Matsuzaka cruised through the first four innings but got himself into a little trouble in the top of the fifth. Rochester loaded the bases without registering a hit in the inning. He walked the lead off man and hit two batters before Matt Tolbert fouled out to the third baseman ending the threat. Matsuzaka said he felt healthy and the issues in the fifth weren't related to fatigue.
"It was more technical issues," Matsuzaka said. "I think I was trying to be a little too fine with those pitches."
Matsuzaka's official final line: 5.0 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 2 HBP, 73 pitches (43 strikes). Check out the Full Count blog for more on Matsuzaka's first start of the year.
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