On Tuesday, baseball's regular season opened with the Red Sox and the A’s playing in Tokyo, Japan. This was a homecoming for Boston’s starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, but it was far from a good start to the season.
Matsuzaka had a very rough first outing. He was pulled after five innings, getting a no-decision. Matsuzaka gave up a home run on the third pitch he threw in the first inning, and then gave up another run later in the same inning.
After the first inning, Dice-K settled down and started pitching better. In his five innings, he had six strikeouts, five walks, and threw 51 strikes in 95 pitches.
If it weren’t for the good play of the rest of the team and the pitchers that came in after him, this could have been a disaster for the Red Sox. However, they were able to rally from the 2-0 deficit to win 6-5 in 10 innings.
While I know this was the first outing of the season for Matsuzaka, there were probably many emotions running through him returning to Tokyo and playing in front of a home town crowd.
Also, he didn’t pitch that much throughout spring training with the Red Sox. He spent most of the time pitching in Boston’s farm league.
Through all of this, he still played pretty well.
But one has to wonder, is what we saw from Matsuzaka in the first two innings going to be what we see the rest of the season? Or is he going to be the great pitcher he was marketed as when he signed with the Red Sox last season?
Only time will tell.