Daisuke Matsuzaka scheduled for just two more rehab starts

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According to ESPNBoston.com, the Red Sox now have a timetable for Daisuke Matsuzaka’s return:

The right-hander, who had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in June 2011, is scheduled to start for the PawSox on May 17 and May 22 before his rehab assignment expires on May 23.

If all goes well in those final two Triple-A outings, Matsuzaka should be cleared to join Boston’s starting rotation during the final week of May.

The 31-year-old registered an ugly 5.30 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 37 1/3 innings last season for the Red Sox before going under the knife in early-June. He owns a 4.25 career ERA in over 622 major league frames.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.