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BOSTON (CBS) – Daisuke Matsuzaka just got off the disabled list after recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Now, neck stiffness could land the Red Sox starter back on the DL.
Matsuzaka recorded just three outs Monday night against the Oakland Athletics, and said afterwards he experienced tightness in his neck leading up to the start.
The Red Sox were hoping he could work through the pain, but after seeing the results, there is a chance Matsuzaka ends up back on the disabled list.
“Daisuke obviously didn’t have his good stuff tonight,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said after Monday’s 6-1 loss to the Athletics. “He went out with a crink in his neck, and we were hoping he was going to work through it.”
“A couple of days ago, it was stiff but it seemed like he worked through it,” Valentine said. “He said he was going to be all right to pitch. We asked him pretty consistently.”
Matsuzaka said he felt the same tightness during spring training, which also flared up again in May during his rehab.
“Leading up to this start, my neck tightened up a little bit and I ended up not being able to throw a bullpen,” he said Monday night through a translator. “I focused on getting myself in condition to be able to pitch and I went out there, but I ended up not being able to get my arm through.”
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Matsuzaka allowed a solo home run to former Red Sox outfielder Josh Reddick in the first inning Monday night after retiring the first two batters of the game. In the second inning, Mastuzaka gave up a lead-off double, walked the next batter, surrendered a three-run home run to former Sox Brandon Moss (giving Oakland a 4-1 lead), followed by a single and another walk before getting pulled for reliever Clayton Mortenson. Matsuzaka finished the night allowing five runs on four hits and two walks.
His one-plus inning of work matches the shortest start of his career.