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Matsuzaka makes rehab start in New Hampshire

08.30.09 at 3:46 pm ET
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MANCHESTER– Rehabbing Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka is set to take the hill today when the Portland Sea Dogs take on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at MerchantsAuto.com Stadium at 4:05. Matsuzaka, who was shut down on June 20 with a right shoulder strain, is expected to throw roughly 55 pitches. WEEI.com will have regular updates throughout his start as well as his post-start comments, which he is expected to give roughly 30 minutes following his outing.

WARMUP NOT SO HOT

Something about the fact that the crowd here at New Hampshire gave Matsuzaka a standing ovation after celebrating a Lars Anderson strikeout has to confuse the common man. Know what else has to confuse the common man? The fact that Matsuzaka sailed his first warmup pitch far wide and over the head of catcher Juan Apodoca.

TOODLES, THIRD PITCH

New Hampshire leadoff man Todd Donovan just jacked a 91-mph fastball from Matsuzaka way over the left field wall for a home run on Daisuke’s third offering of the game. The next batter, Scott Campbell, crushed one that had the distance but was just foul down the right field line. Matsuzaka walked Campbell on the very next pitch, sailing one wide again of Apodeca.

PROBLEMS A PLENTY EARLY ON

After falling behind Brad Emaus, 3-0, Matsuzaka surrendered a single down the left field line to the New Hampshire second baseman. The next hitter, first baseman David Cooper, then crushed a ball deep to left field that plated Campbell. With runners on second and third with one down, Nick Gorneault walked after working the count full. This has prompted pitching coach Mike Catcher to trot to the mound for a word with Matsuzaka.

MORE OF THE SAME

After Matsuzaka struck out Darin Mastroianni, Brian Jeroloman hit a bases-loaded double to center that scored two. Still with just one down, shortstop Jonathan Diaz walked. Kevin Berman then flew out to right, scoring Gorneault. Five runs, two outs.

…FINALLY

New Hampshire leadoff man Todd Donovan, after homering to begin the inning, grounded to third on Matsuzaka’s 49th pitch of the game. First inning analysis: Totally off the mark. After laughing off his wild warmup pitch, Matsuzaka barely showed more control, often missing down and away to right-handed hitters. He threw a great deal of breaking balls and topped out at 92-mph with his fastball. Don’t buy your September 9 tickets just yet.

49 ISN’T 55

Matsuzaka is out there to begin the bottom of the second inning. Perhaps he can save face with a quick out or two.

1-2-3 SECOND

Sometimes it takes 49 pitches to get out of an inning. Sometimes it takes nine. After getting crushed in the first, Matsuzaka came out and fired seven straight strikes, eight of nine total, en route to a perfect second. After two, Matsuzaka has thrown 58 pitches (he was expected to throw 55), 32 of which were strikes.

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