Daisuke Matsuzaka, still know as ‘Dice K’ to most Major League Baseball fans, has recorded saves in his baseball career before. It was during his days playing in Japan, but still, he has technically recorded a save before.
That said, one hardly thinks that anybody, and I mean anybody, would have predicted that Matsuzaka would ever serve as the closer for a big league team when he signed his much ballyhooed contract with the Boston Red Sox to be an ace starting pitcher back in 2007. Even last week the Mets nominally recalled Matsuzaka from the minor leagues as a starting pitcher.
With the 9th inning being such a disaster for Terry Collins and the Mets that they have tried Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth in the role, the team then turned to Matsuzaka. So far so good, as Dice K converted his first Major League save on Thursday in the team’s win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Collins was pleased with Matsuzaka, though he hardly gave a ringing endorsement as far as his role moving forward (from MLB.com):
He did well…I just wanted him to get used to it, because I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
If nothing else he will probably get another shot in the role, all but guaranteeing that the Mets will continue to have uncertainty in the back of their bullpen.