D'Arnaud had called for a fifth-inning changeup to Gregory Polanco with two runners in scoring position after a passed ball. Matsuzaka, changing goals from coaxing a double play to a strikeout after the runners advanced, shook off d'Arnaud and instead threw a slider.
The rookie Polanco delivered a three-run homer that proved the margin of victory as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Mets, 5-2, Thursday at PNC Park.
"I didn't have my best stuff today, but I just wanted to fight through and just give it my all today," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter after allowing five runs on five hits and four walks in six innings. "Regarding that pitch, I actually shook off d'Arnaud. It ended up being a big mistake. I need to apologize to him about it. ... The result ended up being the worst possible result. It's really regretful."