BOSTON -- The Red Sox announced just minutes before Saturday's game against the Phillies that starter Daisuke Matsuzaka was not only scratched from his scheduled start, but also placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain.
Scott Atchison, recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday, filled in on short notice for Matsuzaka in a game the Red Sox won, 10-2. It was the first Major League start of Atchison's career, though he has made 93 career starts in the Minors.
Meanwhile, to fill Matsuzaka's spot on the roster, the Red Sox recalled left-hander Dustin Richardson from Pawtucket.
Things were happening fast, and although the Sox hope Matsuzaka's injury isn't serious, they felt the DL move -- which is retroactive to June 8 -- was necessary.
"Dice-K, when he was warming up, he felt some forearm tightness," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "We just weren't comfortable, and again, this was happening fast. He was talking that he could pitch, but he'd have to change his arm slot a little bit. That wasn't going to be a good idea. We decided we'd start Atch and again, we weren't comfortable with potentially our innings for the game. So we had to DL Dice-K and brought up Richardson. We have a chance to really get in a bind with our pitching when you lose a starter 10 minutes before the game."
Tim Wakefield is starting Sunday and the Red Sox have an off-day Monday. They won't need a starter to replace Matsuzaka until June 19 against the Dodgers. Dice-K will be eligible to be activated June 23, when the Red Sox are playing the Rockies.
"Until I went to the bullpen, I went through my regular routine, but once I got in and started throwing, I felt some sudden tightness in my forearm," Matsuzaka said through interpreter Masa Hoshino. "I think I could have pitched through it, but we talked about it and decided there's no sense in trying to compensate and making a mechanical adjustment just to get through it, so that was the decision."
Matsuzaka said that he didn't feel anything out of the ordinary with his arm all week leading up to the start.
The righty started the season late because of back and neck woes. He made his 2010 debut on May 1, and was 5-2 with a 4.59 ERA.
Richardson, 26, is 2-0 with a 2.78 ERA in 22 relief outings for Pawtucket this season. Atchison, meanwhile, gave the Red Sox three innings on late notice and allowed two runs over three innings.
Matsuzaka will be evaluated further on Sunday.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.