Daisuke Matsuzaka will pitch for the Brooklyn Cyclones Thursday

Daisuke Matsuzaka New York Mets

Daisuke Matsuzaka will start for the Mets on Thursday. AP Photo.

Daisuke Matsuzaka provides relief to club in a playoff hunt

New York Mets pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his third rehab start on his way back from an elbow injury and it will be in Coney Island for the Brooklyn Cyclones on Thursday against the Staten Island Yankees.

Matsuzaka, who has been on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation since July 25, is no stranger to rehab starts, but this is the first time he will ever play for Brooklyn. He’s made 28 appearances for the Mets this season and has a 3.87 ERA with a 8.6 K/9 and a 5.3 BB/9 in 74.1 innings. At this point he’s a slightly below league average pitcher because of the wildness, but he should be a help to the Cyclones.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, also known as Dice-K, is the second pitcher to rehab with the Cyclones this season. The last was Dillon Gee, who made two rehab starts at the end of June and beginning of July. Gee dazzled in those games as he struck out 16 batters in 8.2 innings combined, but the Cyclones still lost both games. Dice-K will be the 20th major leaguer in history to rehab in Brooklyn and the third Japanese-born player (Tsuyoshi Shinjo in 2001 and Kaz Matsui in 2005) to rehab here.

This will be Dice-K’s third start during this rehab stint. He made his first appearance on Aug. 11 with the St. Lucie Mets where he pitched three shutout innings with three strikeouts and no walks. On Aug. 16 he pitched for the Binghamton Mets and allowed one run over six innings. He tossed 69 pitches in Binghamton so he should be stretched out enough to go at least five or six innings maybe more depending on his location.

The Cyclones are currently in the middle of a wild-card race and lead teh Connecticut Tigers by just 1.0 game and the Staten Island Yankees be 2.5. Having Dice-K pitch for them is a big help to the team because not only do you get the obvious benefit of major leaguer pitching against short season Single-A hitters, but he’s also letting all of their starters get an extra day of rest. Lately some of their best pitchers have been a bit inconsistent and it’s no coincidence that it’s the end of August.

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