A week after throwing his first live batting practice, the Red Sox pitcher's progress has picked up steam. Matsuzaka tossed two innings Wednesday in a simulated game against minor leaguers.
Just two days earlier, the 31-year-old expressed excitement about the strides he's made this spring.
"Everything has been going well so far," Matsuzaka said, through interpreter Jeff Cutler. "All the [timetables], I've been given, I've been able to accomplish, so I'm really happy about that. From here on out, it's all about taking it day-by-day and making sure I get [my work] ready and move onto the next day."
He didn't take the game lightly, either. With Bobby Valentine and Ben Cherington looking on, Matsuzaka threw 18 of 23 pitches for strikes and five of eight first-pitch strikes.
Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure said the hurler touched 92 mph, an impressive output as Matsuzaka targets a possible June 1 –– a date mapped out by Valentine –– return.
"The stuff I did see velocity-wise and control-wise, it's been good," McClure said. "He looked very good…but you have to be careful with [rushing him back too soon]. There's a downside to trying to do that, so we'll have to see how it goes."
Matsuzaka yielded only one hit in the simulated game –– a single.
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