Results tagged ‘ Brian Matusz ’

Matusz impressive in 4th outing

Orioles starter Brian Matusz struck out eight batters and allowed one run — Matt Tolbert’s third-inning homer — over 4 2/3 innings.

Matusz threw 54 of 80 pitches for strikes, scattering six hits, and didn’t issue a walk in his fourth spring outing. He allowed the Twins leadoff man on once, in the second, but got back-to-back strikeouts of Brian Dinkelman and Jason Repko. Following Steve Holm’s two-out double, Matusz got No. 9 batter Trevor Plouffe on an infield pop-up.

In 12 1/3 spring innings, Matusz has 13 strikeouts and he said afterwards that Friday’s outing was the best he’s felt all spring. Here’s the rest of what he had to say…. 

[on his outing]
“I had a good rhythm and a good delivery. And that’s the ultimate goal to get in that rhythm so you’re ready for the season. Today was the first time out there I really had that this spring and it felt good. It felt really good. I was throwing all my pitches, it’s the best my changeup’s been in a while. I threw a couple good sliders.”

“The only play I could think of that I wish I could have back was that bunt [in the first inning]. I kind of slipped off the mound, didn’t get a good jump on it. Those are the things you work on pfp all the time out there on the other fields and it happens in the game you got to react right away. I had a bad jump, slipped a little bit.”

[on seeing results in his pitching line]
“It’s huge. It’s confidence. It’s everything. I’m right on track. I’m working hard, I’m trying to get my delivery back towards having a good groove. I don’t believe I walked a guy, and that’s important too. I got to a couple three-ball counts and I was able to just make pitches. And not give out free passes. It’s huge. I’m finally getting in a groove.”

[on his mechanical adjustments coming together]
“It felt natural today because everything was working together. I had that good flow, that consistent groove to where I’m not yanking or jerking my body or anything like that.  So that’s the ultimate goal. To get in that groove where you feel it on every pitch and it’s consistent. I feel like I made huge strides in these last few days to get there.”
[on OD being close]
“It’s time to really get in that groove and feel it and start stepping it up a little bit. Take that next level. It’s nice to have that outing today. And it doesn’t stop here, it’s going to continue every day. Just got to keep working, understanding that feel and keep it going. Keep it going.”

Matusz on his mechanics

Orioles starter Brian Matusz went 3 1/3 innings of three-run baseball, two of which were earned. He allowed four hits and two walks and struck out two and while he wasn’t thrilled with the results he has been working closely with pitching coach Mark Connor on some mechanical issues and was excited for that to continue.

Here’s what he had to say after Sunday’s start, which was his third outing this spring.

[on his outing]
“The results, [I’m] not happy about the results. But I’m really happy about the process. I feel like I’m making some adjustments that I need to , and I’m excited to sit down with [Connor], look at the video for this game, kind of see where I need to be mechanically-wise. I feel like I wasn’t fully in my groove the whole time. And that’s OK. But I’m excited for this work week though.”

[on not going his scheduled four because of a 33-pitch first]
“[My] stamina didn’t feel like a problem. Little bit of a longer first inning than I wanted…but I was happy to be able to go out to the mound four times. So I was happy to be able to do that. But stamina’s fine. I was working on things today, just trying to get in that rhythm.”

[on what kind of adjustments he’s making]
“I’ve been working with [Connor] on when my knee comes up, just trying to break my hands at the same time, to keep it in rhythm. It felt like my arm was dragging a little bit today at times, and it has in the past.  It takes all the sharpness away from your pitches so that’s the thing I’ve been working on.  It’s one thing to know what you are doing right, it’s another thing about feeling it. You want to be able to feel it so when you go to the mound you don’t have to think about it at all.

For me I’m just trying to get into that feel, that groove on the mound. Which is ok. It’s just spring, just working on stuff. Which is just fine. but I feel like I’m on track to  get myself for the season where I don’t have to think about things, it’s just natural. It’s a process. it’s good though.”

[how’d that work?] “I approached [Connor] and we were talking, I said, ‘Things just don’t feel right.  I don’t feel like I’m in rhythm.’ We sat down and talked about some things before my last bullpen, before this outing, felt perfect. It was one of the best bullpen sides I’ve thrown.  And just working on that, working with [Connor] to get in that rhythm. Like I said, today I was just thinking about it a little too much.”

Matusz on his outing and excitement for the seasons

Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz was pleased with his first spring outing on Thursday, a two-inning scoreless start against the Minnesota Twins. Matusz said he threw all of his pitches in the 35-pitch outing (20 of which were strikes) and was upbeat with the media afterwards.
“Honestly, I felt good,” Matusz said of the outing.  “I was warming up in the bullpen and was telling [catcher Matt] Wieters, ‘Wow, I feel really calm and relaxed.’ I wanted to go out there and not try to overdo it. I wanted to go out and attack the zone like I did last spring. That was my goal.

And when I got out there, I felt good. I felt like I had all my stuff warming up. I got a little antsy, I got a little jumpy with some of my breaking pitches, where I wasn’t taking my time. I was kind of rushing through it and not hitting my spots, but I was able to settle myself down. I got a couple three-ball counts, which I’d love to avoid, but I was able to make some good pitches when I needed to. And the best part about it is I feel healthy, I feel strong, and having this outing makes me even more excited about getting out there the next time.”
[on finally pitching in a game]

“It was a good feeling standing out there on the mound and looking at who was out there on the field. Seeing B-Rob healthy and seeing [Mark] Reynolds there at third and J.J. [Hardy] at short, and I’m excited to get [Derrek] Lee out there to play first base. Just seeing those guys got me pumped up, excited.

It’s just going to be a fun year, and I can’t even put into words how excited I am about this season and the guys that we have. It’s a nice stepping on that mound and seeing those seven guys behind you and Wieters behind the plate.”
[on his velocity, which was around 90-91 mph according to the stadium’s gun]:
“It sounds great to me. First time out there, it felt good. That’s where I want to be. I wasn’t trying to overthrow or anything. I’m happy with where I’m at strength-wise.”

More pregame notes

*The Orioles have not received Dr. Lewis Yocum’s opinion on Jake Arrieta’s bone spur, so right now the surgical procedure remains on hold. As a quick recap, Arrieta has a spur in his right elbow area that he’s hesitant to remove given that he hasn’t been bothered by it in the past.The O’s have taken the approach that they’d rather be safe and get the procedure done, instead of worrying about it down the road. Yocum is providing a second opinion on Arrieta’s MRI.
*Kevin Millwood will make his final start Wednesday with Thursday and Friday’s starters up in the air. One of those will be Jeremy Guthrie but if the O’s tab Chris Tillman to start, they will give him Thursday. If they go Rick VandenHurk, he will go Friday and Guthrie will go Thursday since VandenHurk pitched on Sunday in Toronto. Tillman will not pitch out of the bullpen if the Os elect to give VandenHurk another start.
*Brian Matusz and Brad Bergesen will be the last two games, with Bergesen finishing up the season.
*Jim Johnson is not campaigning to start. He was asked if he liked starting better than relieving, which is a fairly obvious answer for most pitchers. Who wouldn’t like to get four days off and pitch one day? But he is not going to approach manager Buck Showalter about wanting to start. It’s also important to keep in mind Johnson has elbow issues and was available to avoid surgery with rehab. Having him serve as a bridge in the bullpen instead of a starter throwing over 100 pitches an outing, is probably best for the O’s – and JJ – long term.

Matusz matters

A week removed from an injury-shortened start against Toronto that
saw him exit after the first inning, Brian Matusz didn’t record an out on
Monday until 22 pitches into his outing, after Boston had used a leadoff
walk and a pair of singles to tie the game at 1. But following that
laborious frame, Matusz retired 14 of 16, allowing only a two-out double
to Martinez followed by an intentional walk to Adrian Beltre.

Matusz exited after five innings of one-run baseball, striking out four
and issuing three walks in the 101-pitch outing. Monday’s outing lowered
his ERA to 2.57 over his last nine outings and improved him to a career
2.45 mark in five starts against Boston. He has allowed eight earned runs over 29 1/3 innings against the Red Sox, which is the lowest mark of any Major League pitcher (minimum of 25 IP) this year.

If you look closer, his recent surge is even more impressive. Matusz has pitched to a 1.91 ERA over his last six starts and has allowed three earned runs or less in each of those. He also lowered his career ERA at Fenway Park to 2.00, which is the lowest by an opponent (minimum 15 innings) at Fenway this year.

When asked if that success –and his solid stats against the Yankees — are perhaps what he will reflect on most fondly when mulling over his rookie season, the 23-year-old responded absolutely.

“You want to have the most success against teams in your own division,” Matusz said. “I’ve had good success against the Yankees and Red Sox this year. So, sure that’s really a high point of the season. I’m just happy to see things turn around a little bit. I went through a streak where I was really struggling, but I’m starting to really throw the ball a lot better.”

Os/Jays lineups and pregame tidbits

*Touted prospect Kyle Drabek will make his Major League debut tonight as the Orioles go for the sweep…

*Brian Roberts is back in the lineup after taking a day to rest his right knee, which was struck by a pitch in his eighth inning at-bat on Monday night. Luke Scott is at first so just manager Buck Showalter can get another look at him there, and have Corey Patterson in the lineup.

*Jake Arrieta will throw a bullpen on Saturday and depending on how that goes, could make his next start in Boston. The original thought was he would be shut down after last night’s start, but the Orioles want him to pitch in Fenway Park, since he has yet to do that. Actually, technically he has pitched at Fenway, facing Pawtucket while with Triple-A Norfolk. But, you get the gist.

*Brian Matusz felt good playing some long toss with Jeremy Guthrie today and said he’s on track to make his next start, which would be Monday at Boston. Matusz took yesterday off after leaving Monday’s start with a left triceps contusion.

*Julio Lugo, who is suffering from sinus isuses and headaches, will see an ENT on Friday afternoon and won’t be available for the week. Lugo and the Orioles hope to know more after that appointment.

Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 3B
Luke Scott 1B
Felix Pie LF
Adam Jones CF
Matt WIeters C
Corey Patterson DH
Cesar Izturis SS

Brad Bergesen RHP

DeWayne Wise RF
Yunel Escobar SS
Jose Bautista 3B
Vernon Wells CF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Aaron Hill 2B
Adam Lind DH
John Buck C
Travis Snider LF

RHP Kyle Drabek

Matusz exits

Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz exited prior to the second
inning of Monday’s game against the Blue Jays with a left triceps contusion.

Matusz was struck by Yunel Escobar’s comebacker in the
second at-bat of the game and play was momentarily suspended while he conferred
with assistant athletic trainer Brian Ebel and pitching coach Rick Kranitz.
Manager Buck Showalter, who was already on the field to contest first base
umpire Bruce Dreckman’s ruling, also came over to the mound and after several
warmup pitches Matusz remained in the game. But it would be the last frame, as
Rick VandenHurk replaced Matusz to start the second inning.

Matusz retired Jose Bautista on foul popup and got Lyle
Overbay swinging to pitch around Vernon Well’s double. He threw 14 of 24 pitches for strikes. The 23-year-old Matusz was named the American League’s Rookie of the month in August and entered
Monday’s start 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his previous four outings.  

Tillman on his way, Os will go to 6-man

BALTIMORE — Chris Tillman is expected to arrive in Baltimore on Friday night and he will likely make his next scheduled start on Sunday for the Orioles.

Manager Buck Showalter said Friday afternoon that plan is not definite yet, but acknowledged it was what would probably happen. Given that the Orioles have several young arms reaching their innings limit, inserting Tillman in the rotation would give the team a chance to go to a six-man rotation to help get through the season’s final month.  It would also move the rest of the current rotation back a day, putting Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta and Brad Bergesen in line to pitch next week’s series in New York, which starts on Monday.

Long reliever Rick VandenHurk is also someone the organization wants to get a look at in a starting role, and he could make several spot starts in September.  VandenHurk was acquired for the Marlins in a deadline deal with the Marlins and the O’s could chose to skip a starters schedule turn entirely or just push back the rotation again to give VandenHurk a look.

The 22-year-old Tillman went 1-4 with a 7.92 ERA in two separate stints with the Orioles this season. He pitched to a 3.34 ERA for Triple-A Norfolk, posting an 11-7 record in 21 starts.

Matusz takes home some hardware


BALTIMORE — Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz was named the American League Rookie of the Month for August, pitching to a 2.43 ERA and going 4-1 in six starts last month.

Matusz lead all rookies in wins, innings pitched (37) and strikeouts (26) and held hitters to a .241 batting average over that stretch. Taking out his one loss – a four-inning, five-run game against the Rays  — Matusz had a 1.36 ERA in his other five outings and has shown why the 23-year-old was a preseason prediction for AL Rookie of the Year.

Fresh off two consecutive wins, Matusz entered Tuesday’s start having allowed just one run in his previous 15 innings, and he cruised through the first four frames, holding the Red Sox to just two hits. He didn’t allow a leadoff batter aboard until Mike Lowell’s fifth-inning single, and was tagged with just two runs despite admittingly not having his best stuff. 

For pitching coach Rick Kranitz, it was one of Matusz’s most impressive starts given that he had to battle to beat a patient, veteran Boston lineup.

“The fact that he didn’t have his best command and he threw six innings and only gave up two runs, that meant a lot,” Kranitz said of Matusz. “His last few games have been excellent as far as command-wise and location. [Tuesday] was a little bit off…But you know what, [starts like that] lets them know that they can get through September when it really counts.”

Added Matusz: “To be strong at this point in the season is what you want to do. Because years to come when we are in the playoff race, this is when you want to be your strongest. Fortunately, I’ve been able to string together some good outings and stay strong. It’s a matter of staying healthy and continuing to push and work hard and finish off the year good.”

Os/Red Sox lineups and pregame tidbits

*Brian Matusz was named AL Rookie of the Month for August. In six August starts, Matusz went 4-1 with a 2.43 ERA (37.0IP, 10ER).

*Adam Jones and Corey Patterson are not in the starting lineup and both outfielders are pretty banged up. Jones has been dealing with upper back soreness and left last night’s game prior to taking his scheduled at-bat in the seventh, while Patterson has been getting treatment on his neck and shoulder area after crashing into the wall in Chicago and again in Anaheim. Manager Buck Showalter will try to stay away from both of them, with Nolan Reimold getting an outfield start. While Patterson said he could maybe pinch run, Jones is a little more beat up and may be out for another day or two.

*Double-A Bowie outfielder Xavier Avery was added to the Arizona Fall League roster and will join the O’s Scottsdale team.

*Oh, and Jake Arrieta shaved his mustache, which I know is a big deal around here. He also lost a bet with catcher Matt Wieters that he’d keep it til the end of the year and had to fork over some money to him this afternoon. 

Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 1B
Luke Scott DH
Felix Pie CF
Matt Wieters C
Nolan Reimold LF
Cesar Izturis SS
Josh Bell 3B

Brad Bergesen RHP

Marco Scutaro SS
JD Drew RF
Victor Martinez C
David Ortiz DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jed Lowrie 2B
Mike Lowell 1B
Daniel Nava LF
Ryan Kalish CF

Daisuke Matsuzaka RHP