Left-hander Brian Matusz wasn't happy that he could only get through four innings on Monday night, but he wasn't panicking either. He said he felt strong throughout his 96-pitch outing and struggled with his command because his motor was running a little fast when he took the mound for his first start of the 2012 season.
"I came out today and felt good in the bullpen -- a little amped up, first start of the season -- and was just pitching behind in the count too much today,'' he said. "Not getting ahead and attacking the zone like I wanted to. The walks hurt and it's a tough lineup. They got hits when they needed them."
Matusz is trying to bounce back from a disastrous 2011 season in which his velocity dropped significantly and his confidence seemed to fall with it. Monday night, he threw his fastball in the low 90s from start to finish and raised no questions about his physical presence. He just couldn't locate.
"It was a lot better,'' he said. "I'm a completely different guy than last year. I felt strong. I had a lot of zip behind the ball, just it was up in the zone...It's a tough lineup. I was trying to be a little bit too fine with the big hitters rather than trusting my stuff and attacking the zone. I felt strong the whole game. The training is definitely paying off. It's just a matter of being able to settle in and getting ahead in the count."