The Daisuke Matsuzaka Experiment Hasn't Really Worked Out For the New York Mets

By Matthew Solomon
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The injury bug has hit the pitching staff of the New York Mets hard the past few weeks. Due to injuries, the team has lost Jeremy Hefner, Jenrry Mejia and Matt Harvey. The team has had to look other places to get pitchers into the starting rotation. To try and replace Harvey in the rotation, the Mets took a chance and signed Daisuke Matsuzaka, throwing him right into the fire after signing him. Now it appears as if the Mets signing Dice K hasn’t worked out the way they wanted. In both games that he started for the Mets, Dice K has gotten shelled, which shows you how far his career has fallen.

Matsuzaka broke into the big leagues with the Boston Red Sox after the Sox outbidded a number of teams, including the Mets. During his time in Boston, Matsuzaka put up good numbers, and looked like a great signing. However, somewhere along the line, he lost control of his pitches, and his confidence went right out the window. After going 1-7 with the Red Sox in 2012, Dice K was out of baseball. When this season started, Matsuzaka signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians, but was let go from the contract on Aug. 20, which is where the Mets stepped in and signed him, almost out of necessity. New York had a need, and Matsuzaka was a cheap solution to that need.

Things haven’t really gone the way both Dice K and the Mets have wanted over his first two starts here in the Big Apple. In his first start against the Detroit Tigers, Matsuzaka allowed five runs in five innings, en route to a 6-1 loss. Then in his last start, last night against the Philadelphia Phillies, he got hammered for four runs in four and a third innings. In his two starts with the Mets, Matsuzaka lost both of them, while allowing 12 hits and nine runs in 9.1 innings, which equates to an ERA of about 8.68. Those numbers are staggering, especially considering how good a pitcher he once was.

The reason the Mets first took the chance on Matsuzaka was because of how injury plagued the pitching staff was and the team really needed that fifth starter in the rotation. Things really haven’t worked out the way both Dice K and the Mets have wanted. He has struggled pitching over the past few years. That’s why he hasn’t been on a big league roster since getting shelled with Boston a year ago.

The Mets had an idea of what they were getting themselves into when they signed him, I’m sure of that. I don’t think the team knew things were going to get this bad with Matsuzaka on the mound. Dice K has gotten his pitches over the plate, but they don’t have quite the movement they did when he first got to the big leagues. The Mets, I think, were hoping for the Dice K of old when they signed him, but that version, I feel, may be gone.

Granted this is only two starts into his tenure with the Mets, so there isn’t enough evidence yet to say this was a total bust. Sure, things can still turn around for the better for both Matsuzaka and the Mets, but after his first two starts, it really doesn’t look like this experiment is going to work out at all.

What do you think?

Matthew Solomon covers the MLB, NFL and NHL for Rant Sports! You can follow me on Twitter, like me on Facebook, and follow me on Google!

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