Start number two didn’t go quite as well for Brian Matusz as his first one. He gave up three home runs to the Jays and didn’t get out of the third, finishing with a 2.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 1 K line. Matusz threw propotionally more breaking-balls in this one, compared to his debut against the Tigers, at the expense of the change-up. He may not have had the change working, because unlike his first game where he got a few swings and misses on the pitch and several taken for a called strike (while only one was put in play for a hit), in this game there was only one change-up swung and missed and only one taken for a strike, while three were put in play for hits. The breaking-balls were still pretty good, except for the slider he hung to Vernon Wells that was deposited in the seats. Looking at his location graph (from Brooks Baseball) though,
you can see all of those pitches just off the inside corner (to righties). I think that’s a good sign longterm, and if he starts getting those calls (or, even better, starts getting those pitches actually on the corner) a little more then he should be quite effective. When you miss going inside though, sometimes that ball will end up being a good pitch to hit hard – and that’s just what happened as Marco Scutaro took three pitches in that area (two balls and a strike) and then turned on the fourth one for a home run.
So while the results today weren’t the best, there were still a couple of nice things to take away from it. This year is all about development, afterall.
[The O’s couldn’t get much done against Roy Halladay, and fell to 46-65 with their 7-3 loss. They now need to go 26-26 the rest of the year to finish at 72 wins (their over/under line at the beginning of the year was 71.5).]