Daisuke Matsuzaka surrenders four runs in season debut

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Daisuke Matsuzaka’s first start back from Tommy John surgery Saturday against the Nationals served as a kind of microcosm for his major league career: he was sharp at times, but inconsistency did him in.

Dice-K opened with a perfect first frame, fanning Steve Lombardozzi and Ryan Zimmerman, and inducing a pop-up out of phenom Bryce Harper.

The right-hander would go on to strike out eight batters while issuing just one walk, but he left a few too many pitches up in the zone and the Nats were able to rally for four runs (all earned) on five hits before sending him to the showers after five innings.

Matsuzaka tossed 80 pitches — 52 of which went for strikes — as the Red Sox fell back under .500 with a record of 29-30. Dice-K is currently scheduled to take on the Cubs at Wrigley Field in his next outing.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.