The winning streak was stopped at 3 last night, but the O’s have a good match-up tonight with the pitching awesomeness* that is Brian Matusz facing off against AJ Burnett. Mark Smith asked permission yesterday to wish for a 7 IP, 11 K, no-decision performance from AJ (who he owns in fantasy baseball), and I told him it was OK because Matusz would go all 9 and strike out 15. I’m not looking for a no-hitter or anything, so my expectations are perfectly reasonable.
* Relatively speaking, as an O’s fan.
I suppose that after last night’s HR by Winn (hitting .077/.077/.077 coming into the game), it’ll be Pena going yard tonight. It’ll be the only run Matusz gives up for the rest of the season.
Strike-outs are way down, but he’s showing good control and has a shiny 2.43 ERA.
No graphic, as the Pitch/FX looked screwy to me. Basically, Burnett throws two 93-94 mph fastballs – a four-seamer and a two-seamer – and a big knuckle-curve. Batters aren’t chasing as much against him though, and he’s not missing as many bats as he used to with his stuff. If the O’s lay off of the high fastball and the low curve, they should be able to score some runs.
The kid is good. I would sure like it if he would give up fewer flyballs though, even if a lot of them are harmless pop-ups. He’s 12th in the AL in strike-outs to walk ratio though. Right behind Kevin Millwood.