Daisuke Matsuzaka completed his third rehab start tonight in Pawtucket, going 4 2/3 scoreless, giving up 2 hits, 3 walks, and struck out 4. Dice-K threw 87 pitches, 49 for strikes and topped out at 91 mph on a fastball in the 5th.
Daisuke has made some progress, with this being his first start in Pawtucket. Prior to tonight, Matsuzaka pitched a total of 8 2/3 innings, giving up 9 hits, 4 ER, 2 homers, 2 walks, and struck out 10 in Salem and Portland.
Overall, this was a big step for Daisuke, as he was able to build up some confidence at a higher level of play. He did fall behind the count a few times, but was able to pitch his way out of jams.
We learned that Daisuke has been battling a minor neck issue. Matsuzaka blames it on the frequent travel between outings and treatments. He reassured it is a minor issue and should be a non-factor in the rehab process.
Check back tomorrow for the Daisuke Matsuzaka locker room press conference.