Tim Wakefield threw five scoreless innings before Daisuke Matsuzaka came in for his 2010 debut as the Boston Red Sox went on to defeat the Florida Marlins 6-4 yesterday in Fort Myers. Wakefield was pulled in the sixth after allowing three runs, in total giving up six hits while racking up 5 strikeouts. The 43-year old knuckleballer recently underwent back surgery this offseason.
“Physically, I felt great,” he said. “I think I had a little more energy my last start. Just got tired in that last inning. I think two long innings prior to that, and I didn’t have the sharpness on my knuckleball there in the sixth and they were able to get a couple of runs there. Other than that, I feel great.”
Matsuzaka then took over on the hill to allow just one run in two innings. The 2X World Baseball Classic MVP has also been struggling with back problems and is expected to be back in the lineup two weeks from the start of the regular season. “I thought the biggest thing was that he got out there and he stayed in his delivery,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “I think you’re going to see more come out of his arm, I certainly believe.”
The Red Sox are scheduled to take on the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and Minnesota Twins in Florida this weekend. Opening day is set for Sunday, April 4th at Fenway Park against the current World Champion New York Yankees. All regular season Boston Red Sox tickets are now available!