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Daisuke Matsuzaka roughed up by Tigers in Mets debut

Aug 23, 2013, 9:30 PM EDT

Daisuke Matsuzaka AP

The Indians released Japanese right-handed starter Daisuke Matsuzaka on Tuesday after he posted a 3.92 ERA in 103.1 innings with Triple-A Columbus. The Mets signed him yesterday and immediately inserted him into the rotation to make his debut in Queens against the heavy-hitting Tigers, his first Major League appearance since October 3, 2012.

The Tigers quickly got to Matsuzaka. After Austin Jackson struck out to lead off the first inning, Torii Hunter smashed a solo home run to left inning. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder followed up with singles, but “Dice-K” was able to work his way out of trouble. The Mets got the run back in the bottom half of the first on a Marlon Byrd RBI single.

In the second, Hunter and Cabrera teamed up to blow the game wide open. With runners on first and second and two outs, Hunter hit a ground-rule double, scoring one run. Then Cabrera crushed a three-run home run to left, his 41st of the season, to left field to put the Tigers up 5-1. It was also the 362nd home run of the third baseman’s career, putting him one ahead of Joe DiMaggio and tying him with Todd Helton for 76th all-time.

Matsuzaka calmed down, retiring ten consecutive Tigers after the Cabrera home run. He was pulled after five innings having allowed the five runs on six hits and a walk while striking out four. He threw 86 pitches. Carlos Torres came on in relief of Matsuzaka in the sixth.

  1. dondada10 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Dice-K is pretty much like watching the coach who throws batting practice trying his ass off to get outs.

    • Glenn - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      I guarantee that the coach works a little faster.

  2. chill1184 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Still rather see him get shelled than one of the minor league kids

  3. aceshigh11 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Gee, didn’t see that coming.

    • dondada10 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      Dillon Gee probably did see that coming.

      • aceshigh11 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:50 PM

        Well-played, good sir.

  4. gymtruthteller - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    That is the Dice I remember

  5. mrobinson14 - Aug 23, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    THAT is the reason he was stuck in AAA

  6. nhthelegend - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Whose bright idea was it to sign a guy whose ERA was barely under 4.00……. IN TRIPLE A?!!!!

    • dan1111 - Aug 24, 2013 at 3:29 AM

      Is Daisuke going to be good? Probably not, but that isn’t the point. He was signed to eat innings at the end of the season in order to rest some of the Mets’ young arms. That sounds like a smart idea to me.

      Who would have been a better cheap signing? Good and even decent pitchers don’t come cheap. Matsuzaka’s major league track record is better than most pitchers who could be signed to a contract like this–his reputation is so bad partly because of his huge contract and partly because he has suffered from a lot of injuries over the last few years.

      Also, Columbus is arguably the most hitter-friendly park in the International League. A 3.91 ERA in that context is quite respectable.

  7. atribecalledquestec - Aug 23, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Wow…he’s wearing Dwight Gooden’s #16 O_O

  8. zippythesquirrel - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    A good replacement for Shaun Marcum.

  9. fusionix7 - Aug 23, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    The thing I will always remember about Dice-K is how he always dry humps the air before delivering a pitch. That has to creep some batter’s out.

    • bjbroderick - Aug 24, 2013 at 3:17 AM

      Oh yeah.
      http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/2068033/Matsuzaka.gif.opt_medium.gif

  10. pisano - Aug 24, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    The guys a bum, but the Mets could have gone a little easier on him then to throw him to the Tigers. Talk about leading the sheep to slaughter.

  11. tfbuckfutter - Aug 24, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    I like Dice-K.

    If only because when he starts, the absolute BEST case scenario is a complete game that takes 230 pitches and includes 9 walks and 3 runs.

  12. dirtyharry1971 - Aug 24, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    Dice-K would be the 3rd best pitcher on the jays starting rotation….Hands down….

  13. thebigtim2012 - Aug 24, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    I wonder if the mets signed him and sent him in against the tigers for choosing the Red Sox over the mets back In the day

    • tfbuckfutter - Aug 24, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      Why would the Mets hold a grudge over him collecting $100,000,000 from the Red Sox for what amounted to 1 very good season (that he didn’t even pitch 200 innings in)?

      If anything they should be thanking him.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 24, 2013 at 11:38 AM

        slut-shaming

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