Matsuzaka displeased with breaking ball command after rehab start

Even though he last pitched for the Boston Red Sox on June 19, Daisuke Matsuzaka expressed confidence about his ability to return to the major leagues.
“I think I can stand on the mound with 100 percent confidence,” Matsuzaka said through an interpreter after allowing two solo home runs in 4 1/3 innings during a rehab start Friday night for the Pawtucket Red Sox against the Syracuse Chiefs. “I approached tonight’s start like it was a regular-season game. I felt close to how I pitch in the regular season.”
Matsuzaka, who’s been on Boston’s 60-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain, gave up four hits, walked one and struck out three.
He threw 43 of 67 pitches for strikes and topped out at 92 on McCoy Stadium’s radar gun.
Leonard Davis pulled a 1-0 pitch over the right-field fence for a homer in the second inning. The ball bounced off the roof of an adjacent concession stand.
Kory Casto led the fourth by pulling a 1-0 pitch to right field that deflected off the glove of Sean Danielson and fell into Syracuse’s bullpen for a homer.
Matsuzaka said Davis’ home run came on a fastball and Casto’s on a curveball.
“If there was one thing that I wasn’t pleased with it was the command on my breaking balls,” Matsuzaka said. “It wasn’t as sharp tonight as I want it. My command on the fastball can be a little touch-and-go at times. But starting right from my warm-up in the bullpen, I felt that I was able to get after it right from the beginning of the game.”
Matsuzaka was on a 70-pitch limit and had thrown 63 through four innings.
“After I came in after the fourth, I was told my pitch count up to that point was 63,” he said. “I wanted to get out there and throw as many pitches as possible, so I asked to go back out there and (manager Ron Johnson) let me go out to face one more hitter.”
Matsuzaka spent the bulk of July and August rehabbing in Fort Myers, Fla.
He made one rehab start for the Gulf Coast Red Sox on August 24 and one for Double-A Portland last Sunday.
Where Matsuzaka next pitches will be determined after consultation with the Red Sox.
Syracuse beat the PawSox, 7-3.

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