UPDATE: It’s official. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports that Matsuzaka has been placed on the disabled list. Alfredo Aceves will take his place in the starting rotation Saturday against the Cubs.
6:50 PM: Daisuke Matsuzaka was sent for an MRI on his elbow Tuesday, the Boston Globe reports, and is expected to go on the disabled list after giving up five runs and walking seven in 4 1/3 innings in an ugly outing against the Orioles on Monday night.
Matsuzaka had two brilliant starts for the Red Sox last month, allowing two hits over 15 scoreless innings against the Blue Jays and Angels, before leaving his April 29 outing with elbow tightness. The Red Sox said that was strictly a precaution, but he hasn’t pitched well in his three outing since, including his relief loss in extra innings against the Angels on May 4.
The Red Sox aren’t at all sure whether it’s really an injury that has him down, though.
“It has not been ready yet. We don’t really have much to discuss,” Terry Francona said of the MRI. “We’re talking about his elbow. Whether it’s sore or whether he’s afraid to get to a point where it will get sore, we’re trying to figure it out.”
The Boston Herald’s Scott Lauber pointed out that it may be something else entirely, tweeting the following:
For what it’s worth, pitching coach Curt Young believes Daisuke Matsuzaka’s issues last night were a product of illness, not injury
But whether he’s truly hurt or not, it looks like Dice-K will join John Lackey on the DL for Boston. Reliever Michael Bowden is expected to be added to the roster in his place.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.