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Friday, May 23, 2014
Dice-K draws spot start in doubleheader

By Adam Rubin

NEW YORK -- With the Mets needing an extra starter on Sunday for a doubleheader, Daisuke Matsuzaka will step into the rotation for a spot start in Game 2. Rafael Montero will proceed in the 1:10 p.m. opener, as had been originally intended.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen suggested Matsuzaka will be capable of throwing 100 pitches on Sunday.

Matsuzaka tossed season highs in relief with 3 2/3 innings and 56 pitches on May 13 at Yankee Stadium.

"I pitched yesterday, but it was just one inning. I didn't throw too many pitches," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. "So throwing 100 pitches, it shouldn't be a problem."

Asked how he can have the stamina to log that workload after exclusively pitching in relief since the regular season started, Matsuzaka added: "It's definitely been a while. It's something I know how to do. I don't really want to think too deeply into it. I just want to go into the game and do my role."

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson told reporters his team will promote a starting pitcher from the minors.

Both teams will be able to carry a 26th player for the doubleheader.

Matsuzaka was beaten out by Jenrry Mejia for a starting role out of spring training.

Dice-K indicated on Friday that he did not view the spot start as an opportunity to again be judged for that role.

"No, I don't see it being anything long term or anything," Matsuzaka said. "It's probably just for Sunday. But Sunday I will be starting the game, so I have a responsibility as a starter to pitch deep into the game. That's what I expect to do."