Junichi Tazawa will make his first major league start tonight against the Tigers, his first outing since his surreal debut Friday night. Tazawa entered in the 14th inning with the score 0-0 in Yankee Stadium. In the 15th, Tazawa allowed a walkoff home run to Alex Rodriguez. In the time after the sour debut, Francona saw no ill effects on Tazawa, who last year pitched in the semiprofessional Industrial League in Japan.
“I think we’re excited to watch this kid pitch,’’ Francona said. “He’s kind of an interesting story. The one thing he should do, he should throw strikes. He should manage the running game very well. And his stuff is good enough that if he throws strikes, he should be fine. He never seems to be overly nervous or that out of sorts for where he is. I think we’re looking forward to it.’’