Yesterday I was minding my own business when I got an email from Florida. A co-worker on vacation was at the Red Sox spring training game and sent a picture. Then she said that Dice-K was pitching and Lowell, Pedroia and Youkilis were also playing. Sent a wave of envy through my end of the floor when I forwarded the picture.
So the word on Daisuke Matsuzaka in his first spring training game is good. Effective and efficient. This this a good sign for the spring? Will having pitched for the winning Japan in the World Baseball Classic hurt or help him in the long run? Hard to say. But along with the various injuries that appear to be healing and Matsuzaka’s performance yesterday, the Sox look good.
From the Boston Globe’s Extra Bases blog
“Seventy-five pitches through five innings is ideally what we were hoping to get through today,” said pitching coach John Farrell after the Sox’ 4-3 loss in 10 innings to the Atlanta Braves.
“I surprised myself,” Matsuzaka said with a mischievous grin, suggesting he is growing tired of the constant questions about his pitch efficiency. “The Red Sox keep reminding me that I was a little bit ahead of schedule, but on the other hand, getting ready for the WBC put me ahead [of everyone else]. I’d like to take that in a positive way.”
There wasn’t much else to report from the clubhouse, where the Sox were eager to depart after two long road trips in two days. Farrell made repeated note of Matsuzaka’s willingness/ability to rely on his two-seam fastball, a pitch designed to quick outs and conserve pitches.
Matsuzaka also made a point of noting that he was working on his “movement,” suggesting he is more focused on, as Farrell said, “pitching to contact.”
The countdown clock to opening day reads 6 days, 7 hours, and 12 minutes. It’s Spring!