Daisuke Matsuzaka will open the Red Sox World Series championship defense (I love writing that!) on March 25 in Tokyo against the Oakland A's, most likely against Joe Blanton. Terry Francona confirmed that today, and also said that Jon Lester will start the second game of the series, also possibly against Rich Harden. (A's manager Bob Geren hasn't made any formal announcement yet.)
Clay Buchholz and Tim Wakefield will start the two exhibition games this weekend after the Red Sox arrive in Japan on Thursday. They may both pitch the first two regular season games in Toronto, but that will depend on the health of Josh Beckett, and when he's ready to go.
The word from Red Sox camp is that Commander Kick Ass had another pain-free session today, throwing from 120 feet. He maybe ready to go when the Sox reach Oakland to start the season in the US on April 1, but we will see.