Apr 23, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka (16) reacts as he walks into the dugout as the wind kicks up the dirt against the St. Louis Cardinals during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Mets’ Daisuke Matsuzaka having troubles adapting to relief life


Going from one role to another can be a stressful time of adjustment. For Daisuke Matsuzaka, it was a change that he never thought would exist.

Mike Vorkunov of The Star-Ledger talked to the former highly-touted prize pitcher about adapting to life in the bullpen. Having been a starting pitcher for his entire career, Dice-K is, understandably, finding it difficult.

Right now, I don’t think enjoying it would be the right word. I don’t know if pressure is the right word. But I think for me right now it just feels tough. It’s tough. It’s something that’s tough to do rather than something I’m enjoying right now. I’m still trying to get used to it. I’m just trying to get into a rhythm.

Rhythm is not something that relievers are accustomed to. Matsuzaka, in particular, had a routine that physically spanned 90-minutes before every start; mentally, it would last the whole day. Instead of pitching every fifth day, like a starter would, Matsuzaka has to prepare for being asked to pitch on consecutive days. He is impressed by those that can get loose and ready at the drop of a hat, or, in this case, the ring of a phone.

Last week, Matsuzaka recorded his first Major League save. In six games with the Mets, Dice-K has posted a 1.17 ERA.

Tags: New York Mets