Saturday, March 28, 2009

Daisuke Dissected...Beckett Sharp, Almost

Daisuke Matsuzaka made his first appearance in a Red Sox uniform this season, throwing 54 pitches in a bullpen session. He is next scheduled to throw in a spring training game against the Braves on Monday. He said he doesn't have any problems. Let's hope so. His words...

“Physically, I don’t have any problems,” the right-hander said. “But mentally, I do have to get myself prepared for the season, which I think may be more difficult than the physical element. As for my schedule, I’m just going to fall back into the five-day rotation as usual.”

It'll be nice to see him as our number three starter. The identities of the numbers four and five guys in the rotation are much less in focus, but that's what spring training is for. Boston Red Sox manager Terry Tito Francona is very pleased with the progress of Mike Lowell and John Smoltz, who are both coming back from injuries that required surgeries. Mikey will be manning third base come opening day and John Smoltz will join the rotation in mid-May, if all goes well. I have a feeling it will. I just know it...he'll be our most valuable starter for the last three months of the regular season. Wow, talk about going out on a limb...I guess I just did! I didn't hear that limb start to crack. Don't think I will.

In Friday spring training game news, the Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 11-8. Josh Beckett was strong right until the end, when he faltered to the last few batters in that sixth. Here's what Tito had to say, followed by the Red Sox pitching summary...

“I thought today was Beckett's strongest outing of the spring,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He gets into the sixth. He gets two quick outs, 3-2 pitch, and all of a sudden he strings together four hits. So, his day ends on that note. But I thought he was strong and he located. Even when he was throwing balls, they were close. I was really pleased.”

J Beckett 6 6 4 4 1 4 1
T Saito 1 2 0 0 0 1 0
R Ramirez 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

That was just the important part of the Boston pitching. Beckett was satisfied, his teammates were bashing the ball and all was good in Red Sox Nation and Red Sox International, including north central Connecticut right here in southern New England. Have a great Saturday and a terrific weekend, and don't forget this...the NCAA tournament basketball games will be great today and tomorrow. So enjoy 'em on CBS today and ESPN2 tomorrow! Click on the title of this post for more Sox news and as always, BE WELL. Your comments are welcomed and always answered. See ya.

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