Brian Matusz had a rough first inning against the Rangers yesterday, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits (including a homer). With Kevin Millwood on the mound for Texas – who’s pitched very well against Baltimore the last couple years – things didn’t look too good. Matusz locked things down after that though, adding 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K to his initial inning and keeping the O’s in the game. The offense did its job, with Melvin Mora leading the way (3-4, HR, 3 RBI) and Nolan Reimold adding a solo home run of his own. Danys Baez and Jim Johnson pitched a perfect 8th and 9th respectively, and the O’s beat the Rangers 5-4.
Matusz had a little bit better movement than he usually does, with all of his off-speed pitches being quite effective. (He only threw two breaking-balls out of 19 pitches in the first, but did a nice job utilizing them after that.)
The slider had four swings and misses and a couple called strikes. The curveball had three swings and misses and three called strikes. The change-up – which looked on TV like it was really fooling the Rangers hitters – had five swings and misses and two called strikes. Matusz had a little bit of trouble getting his fastball over (relatively speaking), missing high several times. On the whole though, he showed good stuff.
Through his 7 innings Matusz only had 93 pitches, so he probably could have gone one more if this was an important game. A few more groundballs would have been nice (only 6, to 14 flyballs), but overall it was a good start against a quality offensive club.