Spring Training Game 20: Orioles at Cardinals

Brian Matusz has been very good thus far, but he hasn’t yet faced a hitter of the caliber* of Albert Pujols. He gets his chance against the Cards, while the O’s batters take on former Orioles Rich Hill.

* Pretty much just limiting that set to El Hombre himself.

The Good:

* Felix Pie singled, walked, and stole a base batting lead-off.

* Nolan Reimold played left-field, and picked up a pair of hits (including a double).

* Luis Montanez rounded out the solid day for the O’s outfield with two walks and a steal of his own.

* Brandon Snyder went 2-3 and also sounds like he made a couple of nice plays at first-base.

The Bad:

* Josh Bell struck out three times at the plate, though he did pick up a single as well. He’s now hitting just .222/.313/.444 for the Spring and hasn’t homered since that first game where he went yard from each side of the plate. It’s not a big deal, but it shows you how silly the talk of him starting the year in the majors was after the first week.

* The offense threatened in later innings, but the two runs in the first was all they got. It wasn’t the #1 line-up out there, though the run scoring for that group has been an issue as well.

The Final:

Matusz was just OK; 6 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K, though he did hold Pujols/Holliday to an 0-6 with a walk. That that counts as a disappointment goes to show how much he’s impressed people this Spring. Despite the quality start, he was still saddled with the L as the Birds fell to, I suppose, the other birds, 4-2. Their record now stands at 8-12.