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Red Sox Pitcher Matsuzaka Says He Feels Fine

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Red Sox pitcher Diasuke Matsuzaka. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Red Sox pitcher Diasuke Matsuzaka. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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Boston Red Sox

BOSTON (AP) — Daisuke Matsuzaka is still feeling fine. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said before Saturday’s game
against the Mariners that the right-hander tested well in medical exams and it may have just been an off day.

In Friday night’s 5-4 loss to Seattle, the 30-year old right-hander was pulled in the fifth inning because of tightness in
his elbow.

His next scheduled start is Wednesday, but he may move him back because Clay Buchholz left early Friday night due to an illness and Francona said he’ll be pushed back to Monday. Veteran knuckleballer Tim Wakefield will start Sunday’s series finale against the Mariners.

“Hopefully we just overreacted, which is good,” Francona said before Saturday night’s game against Seattle. “Hopefully we can just chalk it up to a bad day.”

Following Friday’s game, Francona said it wasn’t serious and he’d be in line for his next start. The setback came at bad time for Matsuzaka, who was coming off a pair of stellar outings when he allowed just two hits over 15 scoreless innings.

Matsuzaka, signed by the Red Sox prior to the 2007 season after Boston won a bidding war for the rights to negotiate with the star Japanese pitcher, has had a good number of trips to the disabled list the past three seasons.

In each of the past two seasons, Matsuzaka had landed on the DL twice. In 2010, he made only 25 starts due to a neck strain that got him on the DL early in the season and a strained right forearm
that sidelined him later.

In the previous season, he made just 12 starts and pitched only 59 1/3 innings. He was sidelined with a strained shoulder early in the season and again with the same injury in June.

In 2008, Matsuzaka set a career-high with 18 wins, but missed time with a strained rotator cuff. Matsuzaka, for whom Boston paid $103 million ($51 million posting fee, plus $52 million contract) to acquire before the 2007 season, is entering the fifth year of a six-year contract.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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