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Francona on Matsuzaka contribution

Posted by Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, Globe Staff  September 9, 2008 04:53 PM

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Red Sox manager Terry Francona said starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, who heads to the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays tonight with a 16-2 record and 2.88 earned run average, has been pitching with confidence. If there is a weak spot, it's his control. He is second in the American League in walks with 84.

"We're always trying to get better,'' said Francona. "This guy has been pretty good. The bar was set so unfairly high for this guy when he came over here that whatever he does is going to get picked apart. He's given us 31 wins [over last season and this year]. That's a lot of wins and he seems to be understanding and getting better as he goes. So I think we'll take that."

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