Orioles manager Buck Showalter describes Brian Matusz’s exuberance to pitch out of the bullpen like this:
“It’s like he’s found a new toy, got some real positive thoughts going and is real aggressive,” Showalter said. “He’s served a need at the time that we really were in need of with (Troy) Patton out.”
When the Orioles made Matusz the fourth overall pick in the 2008 draft, it wasn’t with the idea that he could become a good lefty reliever.
He was supposed to be a mainstay of the future rotation. But Matusz has struggled in that role and this year was sent to Triple-A after going 5-10 with a 5.42 ERA. In need of lefty relievers, the Orioles switched Matusz to the bullpen with Norfolk.
He came up Aug. 24 and has been tremendous since. He has allowed just three hits and one walk while fanning 14 batters in 9 1/3 innings and is now becoming a huge part of a contending team.
“Having multiple outings out there and having the experience, confidence is starting to grow,” Matusz said.
On Sunday, he threw two perfect innings and picked up his first big league relief win.
“A game like today, where we had the lead, I was keeping it that way,” he said.
And when things are working so well and he is contributing, Matusz is having a ton of fun with his new toy.
“Personally, it feels great, to go out there and have success and most of all help this team win and be a part of it,” he said. “So far, so good. Hopefully, I can keep this going.”