- FanGraphs Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs -

Daily Notes: The Actual Daisuke Matsuzaka to Pitch Today

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. The Actual Daisuke Matsuzaka to Pitch Today
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

The Actual Daisuke Matsuzaka to Pitch Today
The Purpose of This Post
The purpose of this post is to announce how former Seibu and Boston right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka will start for the New York Nationals tonight (Friday) at 7:10pm ET.

Regarding Matsuzaka, Where He’s Been
Since his last major-league appearance on October 3rd, 2012, against the New York Americans (box), the 32-year-old Matsuzaka appears to have been: granted free agency by Boston (October 29), signed by Cleveland (February 13), released by Cleveland (March 24), signed again by Cleveland (March 26), released again by Cleveland (August 20), and signed by New York (August 22).

Regarding Matsuzaka, What He’s Done
With Triple-A Columbus this year, Matsuzaka was entirely serviceable, if not necessarily impressive, recording strikeout and walk rates of 22.0% and 9.1%, respectively, and a 3.96 FIP over 19 starts and 103.1 innings.

Regarding Matsuzaka, His Velocity Now
According to a source close to the situation and also close to Newsday’s Marc Carig, it would appear, Matsuzaka’s fastball sat at 87-91 mph during a recent start with Columbus.

Regarding Matsuzaka, His Velocity Then
Here, per PITCHf/x, are Matsuzaka’s average fastball velocities from 2007 to -12 with Boston:

Year Velo
2007 92.4
2008 91.9
2009 91.0
2010 92.1
2011 90.0
2012 90.7
Avg. 91.7

Regarding Matsuzaka, His Velocity Then-Then
Here’s an animated GIF of a 19-year-old Matsuzaka throwing a fastball at 155 km/h (96 mph) in his NPB debut with Seibu in 1999:

Dice K Fast

Action Footage: Matsuzaka’s Curve or Slider
Here’s footage from Matsuzaka’s most recent start, on August 19 against Baltimore affiliate Norfolk, of the right-hander throwing a slider or curve* to Eric Thames for a called strike:

Dice Thames CU Called 1st

Action Footage: Matsuzaka’s Changeup, Probably
Here’s footage from later in that same plate appearance — in this case, of what appears to be Matsuzaka’s changeup for a strikeout:

Dice Thames CH SS K 1st

*Per Brooks Baseball, Matsuzaka didn’t really throw a curve at all in 2012. That said, this pitch appears to have more vertical movement than one might generally expect from a slider proper.

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Toronto at Houston | 20:10 ET
Todd Redmond (43.1 IP, 104 xFIP-, 0.5 WAR) faces Jordan Lyles (109.1 IP, 105 xFIP-, 1.0 WAR). Of note regarding Houston: over the last 30 days, the club has produced the sixth-best home-run rate as a team, at 2.9%.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Houston Radio, Perhaps?

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 5.7.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.


Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Wade Miley AZ 6 3 6 0 8 PHI Cole Hamels 19:05
Samuel Deduno MIN 3 4 4 7 3 CLE Ubaldo Jimenez 19:05
Dan Straily OAK 5 6 5 9 3 BAL Bud Norris* 19:05
Jhoulys Chacin COL 5 8 5 1 4 MIA Tom Koehler 19:10
Doug Fister DET 7 7 7 7 8 NYN D. Matsuzaka* 19:10
Yovani Gallardo MIL 3 3 5 3 9 CIN Homer Bailey 19:10
Hiroki Kuroda NYA 5 3 5 10 5 TB Chris Archer 19:10
Martin Perez TEX 7 3 7 2 10 CHA Chris Sale 20:10
Todd Redmond TOR 4 6 5 4 5 HOU Jordan Lyles 20:10
Gio Gonzalez WAS 7 3 5 7 2 KC Bruce Chen 20:10
Kris Medlen ATL 6 8 7 3 9 STL A. Wainwright 20:15
Garrett Richards LAA 8 8 8 4 9 SEA Felix Hernandez 22:10
John Lackey BOS 7 9 6 3 5 LAN Ricky Nolasco 22:10
Edwin Jackson CHN 4 5 4 6 3 SD Edinson Volquez 22:10
Charlie Morton PIT 7 6 7 5 7 SF M. Bumgarner 22:15

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.