Thursday June 03, 2010 | 06:32 AM

Imagine you are an advance scout for the Cleveland Indians. Try explaining what Daisuke Matsuzaka will do when he pitches against your team on Monday.

After giving up eight walks and a hit-batter in his previous start (112 pitches, 60 strikes), he gives up no walks (109 pitches, 84 strikes) on Wednesday.

Matsuzaka allowed 3 runs in both games, but the difference was that he lasted 6 2/3 innings, which brought Boston to its bullpen strength in Bard and Papelbon.

One thing in the Indians' favor is that Dice-K will be pitching on four days' rest next Monday. He shows that he is better with five days' rest, which was the case Wednesday night.

Speaking of inconsistent pitchers, Tim Wakefield takes the mound this afternoon. The bullpen could get tested (and Bard won't be available).

In Triple-A Pawtucket, Felix Doubront (0.77 ERA) pitched a dandy, going 5 2/3 scoreless innings (2 H, 1 BB, 3 K). Doubront retired 13 in a row at one point.

Dustin Richardson (DR) was the first reliever in, allowing no hits or walks over 1 1/3 innings (1 K). He threw 18 pitches, 414 for strikes. Richardson (3.07) has given up 4 H and 2 R over his last 10 1/3 innings, with 17 strikeouts and 6 walks.

Pawtucket won 1-0. New outfielder Ryan Kalish doubled in the fifth and scored on Jorge Jimenez's single.

When Doubront went to Triple-A, reliever Robert Coello (2.75 ERA) was inserted into the Sea Dogs rotation. Good move. He went 5 2/3 scoreless innings Wednesday, striking out 11  (3 H, 1 BB).

Closer Bryce Cox continued his tough stretch giving up the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on two singles and an RBI groundout. In his last three games, Cox has lost twice, allowing 7 ER over 3 innings.

Former Sea Dogs reliever Blake Maxwell continues to wait for his call back up from Salem. Maxwell (1.88 ERA) pitched 3 scoreless innings (3 H, 1 K).

I'll check back later from Fenway.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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