Before the Red Sox’ 8-4 defeat against the Twins on Monday, Matsuzaka threw his first live batting practice since the procedure. With manager Bobby Valentine, general manager Ben Cherington and pitching coach Bob McClure looking on, the hurler offered them reason to be encouraged.
“Ben thought it was the best batting practice, if he doesn’t mind me quoting him, that he’s seen him throw in a while,” Valentine said. “Two pitches that were something other than pretty good.”
During the first week of spring training, Matsuzaka said a return was plausible and much sooner than outsiders anticipated.