"I thought he wasn't commanding like he will," Red Sox manager Terry
Francona said. "He has a very good way, even in an exhibition game, of
competing and making pitches. We wanted him going into his [next start]
feeling good, and he did."
Matsuzaka opened the game by walking Jimmy Rollins and Aaron Rowand. In the
first inning, Matsuzaka threw 26 pitches, 14 for strikes.
Amazingly, in 186 1/3 innings for the Seibu Lions last season, Matsuzaka
struck out 200 and allowed only 34 walks.
Was he nervous on Saturday?
"I didn't feel probably nervous for any reason," Matsuzaka said. "I'm glad I
had the opportunity to throw in a big-league park before the season."
On Friday, Francona said he expected Matsuzaka to throw 45-55 pitches. But
that philosophy was changed a bit on Saturday.
"After two innings, [pitching coach] John Farrell came up to me in the
dugout with the intent of having me finish the spring on a really strong
note," Matsuzaka said. "He told me I'd be finishing the spring on a strong
Now that Spring Training is officially over, Matsuzaka can focus on his
first Major League start on Thursday in Kansas City. He'll oppose Zach Greinke
in the third game of the opening series.
Long before the first pitch, Matsuzaka will be very familiar with the Royals
"They weren't included in the first set of DVDs," he said. "I received the
next set of DVDs, and I've gone through the batting order three times on my
More importantly, Matsuzaka says he's prepared for the rigorous season. He
altered his conditioning routine, but wouldn't elaborate exactly what that
"As far as my physical condition, I changed up my routine just a little
bit," Matsuzaka said. "The result was what I expected based on the changes.
... I wasn't too concerned with lack of control or anything like that."
As usual, a large Japanese media contingent was on hand for Matsuzaka's
start. There were 17 writers, six still photographers, one radio reporter
and 21 media members representing six different Japanese television