Dice-K pulled after hammy whammy

NEW YORK -- Terry Collins said he would have allowed Daisuke Matsuzaka to begin the seventh with his pitch count at 100 if Matsuzaka had not taken a line drive to the right hamstring the previous inning.

Matsuzaka scrambled to field the leadoff liner off the bat of Carlos Gomez after getting struck and retired the speedy ex-Met at first base. Matsuzaka then coaxed a pair of fly outs to complete the inning and was pulled having allowed one run.

“Pitch-count-wise I think I would have been able to go into the next inning fine,” Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. “During the game and right now it’s not too bad. But it should start swelling up, I think, by tomorrow. So we’ll see what happens.”

Matsuzaka said he was determined to work quickly after the line drive struck him.

“In these situations, from my past experience, the longer you wait, the more it starts to hurt," he said. "So I just wanted to get the guy out quickly first and then go on to the next batter as quickly as possible.”

As for working with newly promoted catcher Taylor Teagarden, Matsuzaka said he deferred to the 30-year-old catcher's pitch selections for the most part.

“It’s one of those things you can’t think too much about,” Matsuzaka said. “I just let him call his game and went along with his game and it ended up working out well.”

Teagarden said he diligently prepared for Matsuzaka's start because the Japanese right-hander has so many pitches.

“I was kind of fearing that, but he and I were actually on the same page quite a bit the whole game,” Teagarden said. “He didn’t shake that much. Whatever I put down, he just tried to execute. He did a great job doing it. A guy like that with that many pitches that doesn’t shake, it’s a lot easier to catch than you think.

“He was able to command the fastball to both sides of the plate and kind of keep them honest. It made his cutter and his slider really effective. He got a lot of groundballs in timely situations.”