Brian Matusz

Last
night’s g
ame
vs. the Texas Rangers
pl
ayed
in Arlington w
as the second instance this season
where we h
ave
seen the r
aw
side of Bri
an
M
atusz. 
We s
aw
the side of him where
he is just a vulnerable
lefty with nothing more speci
al than
the next guy coming in.  The first inst
ance? 
In Minnesot
a
He seems to not be
able to handle
lineups th
at
are over
the top
stacked with power and
p
atience. 
The Twins
and
Rangers probably
c
an
both be considered in the top five for hitting te
ams
in b
aseball. 
With Josh H
amilton,
Nelson Cruz, Vl
addy, and even second year
shortstop Elvis Andrus, some people m
ay say
th
at
this lineup is just
as productive as
the Y
ankees,
if
not more.  The Yankees
are not
too q
uick, and are getting older by
the d
ay
Like the R
ays,
the R
angers
a
re mostly a young team
full of bursts of incredible t
alent.

Speaking of the Yankees,
M
atusz
f
aced
them b
ack
at the
end of
April.  He let up 3 earned
runs
and
allowed
9 hits over 6 IP with only 2 strikeout but no walks. 
While M
ajor
Le
ague
B
aseball
would count this in the st
ats as a
qu
ality
st
art,
it w
as
not the top quality we
were looking for out of the
rookie of the ye
ar candidate
His 2 wins on the ye
ar are over the Rays and A’s. 
He be
at
the R
ays
in the O
‘s third game of the year,
where we h
ad
j
ust lost our first two in Tampa and
c
ame
out with fight to get
a much needed W coming into
the Opening Weekend homest
and.  Oakland is just bad.  Other than those 2 wins, Matusz has still
pitched quite well frequently.  Because
of the Orioles lack of any offense ever it seems, Brian’s 1 run 6 inning
performance in New York (vs. Yankees) and shutout 7 innings against the Indians
at home this past weekend go without notice because he does not end up with the
W.  In New York, the loss was due to the
Orioles only scoring one run in the entire game, giving Matusz such a lean
amount of run support to work with.  Back
at home, he had the W going through 7 innings with a 2-0 lead before the
bullpen blew the game, and Matusz ended up with the no decision there.  Both times though, bullpen to be blamed
partially or not, the run support just has not been there to back this guy up.

 

After
last night’s lousy outing of 2.1 IP, Matusz’ ERA is now up to a sub-par
5.26.  He allowed 7 runs on 8 hits in his
short stint, with 2 strikeouts and 1 walk. 
The true killer, though, was the fact that he let 2 homeruns sail out of
the park which accounted for 5 of the 7 runs. 
The problem last night for him was that he lost control of his fastball
and just did not seem to have the velocity behind any of his pitches as
compared to what we have seen in the past. 
His curveball showed good movement, but once again, velocity was down,
making it very vulnerable to a contact hitter. 
As opposed to a guy like Tim Wakefield, Matusz does not have the
movement or command needed to be able to lessen the speed behind his pitches,
so last night the Rangers capitalized on the fact that he was pitching behind
hitters and never really setting a tone.

 

As
he said in his post-game interview, he was not on top of his stuff one
bit.  It was one of those games as a
rookie that gets away from you early that you can never catch up with.  As Bergesen said in his interview once: out
of every 10 games you pitch, there will be 2 good, 2 bad, and 6 average ones in
the middle.  This was one of his bad
ones.  If that theory is true, then his
next start would have to fall into the average category.

 

I
also would not put it past him that his mindset was no on target.  He seems very calm and collected when
talking, one of the chillest guys ever in my opinion, but the last few weeks
have been rocky for him.  He got the
harsh loss in Minnesota after letting up 6 runs off of 9 hits in 3.2 innings,
but then followed that up with a brilliant performance against Cleveland this
past weekend.  The fact that he battled
back from a setback to his solid beginning of the season is marvelous for a
young guy like him, but I don’t blame him if he got a bit anxious or even upset
with the outcome of Saturday’s game.  If
that game gave him trust issues with the guys coming in after him to close it,
then this issue could have been sitting on his mind all night.  If he is focusing more on the follow-up
performances by his teammates in the bullpen, he loses the concentration he
needs to have in order to have a successful game against a lineup like the
Rangers that he had to face.

 

I
wish him luck next week against the A’s in Baltimore.  Hopefully he can bounce back and shine
against a team he already beat earlier this season.

capt.47ad2af6c8a34d0e86ada378a8855e05-47ad2af6c8a34d0e86ada378a8855e05-0.jpg

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