Daisuke Matsuzaka rocked in first start with Mets

The odds were stacked against Daisuke Matsuzaka when he made his debut for the New York Mets on Friday night. He was pitching on three days rest, and had to face one of, if not the best, offense in the MLB. Matsuzaka ended up allowing five runs in five innings as the Mets lost to the Detroit Tigers 6-1.

Before signing with the Mets on Thursday, Matsuzaka had been with the Cleveland Indians triple-A affiliate, and had posted a 3.92 ERA in 19 starts. Amazin’ Avenue reported that the Mets signing Matsuzaka made all the sense in the world with their recent injuries. This will serve as an audition for Daisuke as he is only under contract for the remainder of the 2013 season.

Matsuzaka had one great year in the majors in 2008 when he went 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA. He also had one of the worst seasons for a starting pitcher in Red Sox history in his last major league stint when he posted an 8.28 ERA through 11 starts.

On Friday night, Matsuzaka was victimized by a slow start as he allowed a home run to Torii Hunter in the first, and gave up four more runs in the second including a three run homer to Miguel Cabrera. One bright spot from the start though, was that Daisuke retired the next ten batters after the Cabrera home run. He lasted five innings and threw 86 pitches, reports NBC Sports.

Given the circumstances of his first start with the Mets, Daisuke actually had a pretty successful debut. He didn’t get off to a great start, but he settled down, and got through five innings on three days of rest. This was a situation most pitchers wouldn’t have succeeded in and it would be unfair to judge Matsuzaka on this one start. His next start will come on Wednesday against the Phillies and he will look to rebound with more normal circumstances.

Categories: Baseball