Fellow Japanese star Hideki Matsui will still be on the disabled list during the first meeting, but there's a chance that he'll be recovered enough from his injured hamstring to face Matsuzaka and the Red Sox in that second outing.
In modifying the rotation, Red Sox manager Terry Francona simply pushed Tim Wakefield, Thursday's scheduled starter, to Friday night's contest against the Angels. Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett will stay on their scheduled days, Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Julian Tavarez, who was originally slated to start Friday night against the Angels, will get bumped back to Monday, which gives Matsuzaka a chance to pitch on the five days of rest that he was so accustomed to in Japan.
"Well, we're dealing with weather still," said Francona. "We know going into this weekend we're not done dealing with [inclement] weather. We're trying to give everybody as much as we can a day they're going to pitch. Julian is the one who can get pushed around a little bit if there's some weather. We'll keep everyone else on their day, or on a day they can point to, to get their work in and go get 'em."
Meanwhile, the Red Sox and Mariners will make up Thursday's postponement at 7:05 p.m. ET on May 3, which had been a common off-day between the teams. Fans who had tickets for Thursday can use them on May 3. The game was called roughly 15 minutes after the scheduled 4:05 p.m. first pitch because the forecast called for "continued heavy precipitation, wintry mix and rain/snow/sleet through the evening hours."
"It kind of stinks we have to give up an off-day, but that's Boston for you," said Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon.
That's not just Boston, but seemingly anywhere the Mariners play these days. The Mariners had an entire four-game series wiped out against the Indians over the weekend, and now they have yet another game to make up. The Red Sox tried to keep Seattle's plight in mind as much as possible in determining how to handle Thursday's course of events.
"I talked to [Mariners manager Mike Hargrove] a little bit," said Francona. "Because of their situation, I kind of wanted to feel him out on it, and he had no interest in staying here until 10 o'clock to play this game. So that was definitely brought up, and we were aware of that."
The Mariners will play the Yankees in New York on May 4, so the makeup date was about as convenient as possible. The Red Sox will play in Minnesota on May 4.
"We're trying to make it work, for everybody," said Francona. "We'll fly to Minnesota and get in late. But we're getting to play the game, and they're getting to play the game. The object is to play the game fairly, and I think we're doing the best we can, both sides."