By Joe Haggerty
LAKELAND, Fla. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said before Tuesday's game against the Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium that if "every pitch from Daisuke Matsuzaka sort of seems to have a purpose, thats when he's is going to be good."
Every pitch, apparently, had a purpose.
The veteran right-hander -- who entered the game with an 0-1 record and a horrific 11.42 ERA this spring -- pitched five shutout innings, allowing only two hits with one walk and five strikeouts in what was far and away his best performance of the exhibtion season.
Matsuzaka has tweaked his between-start routine by breaking up his long toss and side session days while working with new pitching coach Curt Young, and it apparently reaped some results.It was a stiff test, as well, since the Tigers had Austin Jackson, Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta in their lineup.
More to come . . .
Joe Haggerty can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs