Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 8/27/12

As we all expected, Daisuke Matsuzaka returned from the DL today and was an efficient, strike-throwing machine.


Dice pitched seven innings, allowing just two walks and five hits to stymie Kansas City. He also struck out six Royals for his first win in what was unquestionably his best start of the year. His ERA is now down to just a hair over 5. 

If Matsuzaka has a strong September, might he be an interesting flier in free agency? His time in Boston has to be done -- I just can't imagine them bringing him back after the disappointing run he's had -- but for another team he might look like an interesting gamble. He's still making guys miss, with 26 strikeouts over 30 IP in 2012. His WHIP is still not great at 1.27, but it's down from his career 1.40 number. If you're a small market team, especially in the NL, it might be worth a stab in the dark.

Dice wasn't the only Sox with a strong performance. Scott Podsednik, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Cody Ross -- your leadoff, third, and cleanup hitters, imagine that -- all had two hits. Ellsbury hit his second homer of the year, hopefully the sign of a power streak coming on. It's a small sample, but Ells is 5-for-13 hitting third this year. Podsednik, meanwhile, is 24-for-59 (.407) in the leadoff spot. 

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