Brian Matusz has pitched pretty well this season, despite the 6.46 ERA. He’s striking out batters at a good clip (8.75 K/9) and not walking all that many (3.80 BB/9), but has been victimized by the longball like many of the Orioles other starters (1.9 HR/9). He is a flyball pitcher, but the 15.2% HR/FB won’t continue to be so high. Matusz has admitted to pressing a bit, which may have hurt his usually excellent control a little. Today against the Indians though, he definitely had it working. He was perfect through 3.2 innings, giving up a walk in which ball four was a result of a ball for putting his hand to his mouth while on the mounds. Cleveland touched him for a run in the 6th, but he came back with a quick 7th and finished with a line of 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K. The O’s gave him some run support, including yet another home run from Felix Pie, who was hitting .324/.378/.568 since the All-Star break coming into this game (bring his line up to a very respectable.271/.332/442 for the season). The 5-2 win gave the O’s a split with the Indians in their four-game series.
Here’s the location graph of his pitches, courtesy of Brooks Baseball (click for a larger version):
Matusz was in the strike-zone all day long (though I’d like to see him work down a little more), and get 4 of his 8 K’s looking – two on breaking-balls and two on fastballs. The slider was really working in general, getting in there for a strike 75% of the time and showing good bite. He mixed his pitches well and looked very good in general. Nice win for Matusz and the Birds.