Tribe ready for first look at Dice-K

Tribe ready for first look at Dice-K

The Indians will get their first look at what $103.11 million can buy when they face right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.

The Tribe was in on the bidding for the rights to negotiate with Matsuzaka this past winter, but the club had no way of competing with Boston's offer of a whopping $51.11 million. The Red Sox then gave the Japanese import a six-year contract worth $52 million.

But the only number the Indians will be concerned with in this game is six -- as in, the number of different pitches Dice-K can throw.

"We know he can throw any of the six at any time," hitting coach Derek Shelton said. "Seeing him on video, it's hard to tell if there's any pattern to it."

Matsuzaka has won four straight starts and six of his last seven outings, and he's struck out 64 batters in 67 innings.

From the day the Red Sox ponied up all those dollars merely for the right to talk to him, Matsuzaka has been one of the baseball's hot topics.

"I look forward to seeing what all the hype is about," Indians outfielder David Dellucci said. "Just like I look forward to facing Tim Wakefield, because of his knuckleball, I look forward to the challenge."

Pitching matchup
CLE: RHP Paul Byrd (5-1, 3.81 ERA)
Byrd was aided by some stellar defensive work and some early offense in getting his fifth win of the season Friday against the Tigers. He gave up four runs on nine hits with no walks and a strike out over 6 1/3 innings and was elevating his pitches by the end of the outing. Byrd said he shouldn't have pounded the strike zone as much as he did, especially ahead in the count. But pounding the zone has helped Byrd go 37 1/3 innings without issuing a walk.

BOS: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (7-2, 4.43 ERA)
Matsuzaka rode an offensive surge to his seventh win on Friday, prevailing over the Rangers despite giving up five runs over five innings in his first career start in Arlington. Matsuzaka is 3-1 with a 5.00 ERA in his first five starts at Fenway Park, where he has allowed a .259 opponents' batting average and three home runs in 36 innings. He will be facing the Indians for the first time in his career.

Player to watch
Casey Blake was named the American League Player of the Week after hitting .348 with eight runs scored, three doubles, four homers and eight RBIs between May 21-27. He's batting .330 over his last 24 games. He had Tuesday off but will be back in the lineup Wednesday.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WTAM 1100

Up next
• Thursday: Indians (C.C. Sabathia, 7-1, 3.54) vs. Tigers (Justin Verlander, 5-1, 2.71), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Indians (Fausto Carmona, 6-1, 2.89) vs. Tigers (Mike Maroth, 3-2, 5.04), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Indians (Cliff Lee, 2-2, 5.86) vs. Tigers (Chad Durbin, 4-1, 4.39), 7:05 p.m. ET

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.