Extra Bases

Matsuzaka looks sharp in scrimmage

Daisuke Matsuzaka just finished up a 2+ inning stint over at the minor-league camp. Pitching in an intrasquad scrimmage, he threw 18 of his 32 pitches for strikes and put one of the eight batters he faced on base. He threw to Luis Exposito.

Matsuzaka’s fastball was 88-91, a few ticks slower than it probably will get to. His change-up was good but his slider looked a little loose.

Matsuzaka is set to throw 2-3 innings on Thursday behind Tim Wakefield. He’ll need 25 innings or so to be ready for the regular season, so obviously that will be a few weeks into April. Matsuzaka said it was “impossible” to put a date on his return.

“I feel I’m getting gradually closer and closer to the real thing but I’m not at point where I can gauge where I’m at,” he said.

John Farrell said he was pleased and that Matsuzaka showed no signs of the sore back and neck that set him back a month. But Matsuzaka said later he was being cautious as he threw, which could explain why his fastball was a little short.

Here’s what he did:

First inning
Jose Vinicio: Strikeout swinging on a 2-2 pitch.
Jason Thompson: Walked on a 3-2 pitch
Miles Head: 5-4-3 double play on first pitch

Second inning
Keury De La Cruz: 4-3 on a 1-1 pitch
Seth Schwindenhammer: 6-3 on an 0-1 pitch
Tyler Yockey: 4-3 on a 2-2 pitch

Continuation of second inning
Boss Moanaroa: F-7 on a 3-2 pitch with a runner on first
Oscar Perez: 4-6-3 double play on a 2-1 pitch with runners on first and second


Matsuzaka then tossed another 14 fastballs in the bullpen. John Farrell was there supervising the outing. Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington were behind the backstop along with more Japanese media than covers the Diet.

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