I think what’s more important here is how well he pitched. The 25-year-old lefty handled a good Yankees lineup – albeit one without Nick Swisher or Brett Gardner due to injury. And he did it by throwing strikes. Early on, he went 0-1 on just about every Yankees hitter. He didn’t walk a batter until the seventh.
That’s huge progress for Matusz, who is a real key for the Orioles if they have any chance of competing in 2012. A week ago, I was ready to send Matusz to the minors. He has to do more than string together two good outings to prove that he is back to his 2010 form, but Tuesday was a big step forward.
Nick Johnson snaps hitless streak
People keep asking me how long of a leash the Orioles will have with Johnson, who went a club-record (for position players) 29 hitless at-bats to start his Orioles career before an eighth-inning double Tuesday. Showalter likes his veterans, but one month is a long time in the big leagues to be hitless.
Johnson is a pro, and very much liked by his teammates. Ultimately, though, he has to contribute. Hopefully, this will get him going. Because when he has been healthy, he’s always hit.
Brooks Robinson’s statue unveiling is pushed back
When Brooks wasn’t at Frank Robinson’s statue unveiling on Saturday, we knew he must not be doing well. The fall he had in January – when he toppled backward off a stage – really affected him, apparently. The recovery has been slow, understandably, especially considering he previously has dealt with surgeries and infections and is a cancer survivor. His new ceremony has been switched from May to September.
And, in a way, that’s a good thing. Because it shows that Brooks, who is always doing things for others, is concentrating on himself now and is trying to get better. That really should be the focus for fans and not the inconvenience of the switch. Because Brooks Robinson is such an important part of Baltimore and the Orioles – he can take as much time as he needs.