Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz is available for today's series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays after being bedridden the past two days with an illness that included a brief stay in a local hospital.
Matusz said he first felt sick Friday morning, and that afternoon he went to a local hospital, where he received IV fluids and wasn’t released until late at night.
"I think that was just to get on IVs and make sure everything was OK and make sure that it wasn’t a stomach problem,” Matusz said. “It was more precautionary, but also going to the hospital, I think it was more going just to get the IV fluids and the meds and speed the process up a bit.
“This morning was the first time I got up and walked around other than going to the hospital,” Matusz said. "Sitting at home, watching the team play on TV, there’s no worse feeling to go along with having the stomach flu and being sick. Being kind of hopeless like that, it’s not much fun.”
As the Orioles played into extra innings Saturday night and the bullpen became depleted in their 2-1 win in 12 innings, Matusz said he considered going to Camden Yards.
"If the game went a couple more innings last night, I was thinking about putting some clothes on and heading over to the field just in case,” Matusz said. “Maybe if we got to the 14thor 15th, I would have started talking myself into feeling better than I actually was.”
Showalter admitted that he considered making a call to Matusz because no starter was available as an emergency pitcher.
“I was getting ready to call Brian and have him come over regardless of how he felt,” Showalter said. “ We didn’t have any starters last night that I could do anything with ... so we were down to Matusz if we kept going, one of those 17-inning specials.”
Other items of note:
-- Third baseman Manny Machado will take a significant step forward tomorrow in his rehab from offseason knee surgery when he begins to run sprints in Sarasota, Fla. Showalter said that player development director Brian Graham and minor league infield instructor Dave Anderson will supervise Machado in Florida as he gets closer to going on a minor league rehab assignment, but there’s still no timetable for that.
“We’ll let him get through tomorrow,” Showalter said. “Tomorrow is a big day for him. Though I think he has already tested it -- somehow, I think at some point, in that vast complex he snuck out and sprinted somewhere.”
-- Showalter was asked whether he would pay special attention to how Tommy Hunter reacted to his first blown save of the season on Saturday night.
“They are all different,” Showalter said. “But you learn from it, and you don’t become timid with it. You think about the positive things Tommy brings, knock on wood. He throws the ball over the plate, fields his position, he holds runners.
“I hear him in the clubhouse today. It’s not like the world is going to end for him. You know what he was excited about last night? That we won the game. I was pleased that the next hitter, he attacked and got out and got us in the dugout.”
-- The newly implemented instant replay system has taken away the animated arguments between managers and umpires that fans love. Instead, as Showalter did Saturday night following a close call, managers are deliberately strolling onto the field buying time for their replay people to decide whether a call should be challenged.
“I miss arguing,” Showalter said. “I do. I was talking to Rick Dempsey last night after the game. I’m thinking, ‘Could you imagine Earl [Weaver] not being able to vent that frustration, never being able to argue all year?’ "
While waiting to get word from the Orioles dugout whether a play should have been challenged Saturday, Showalter said he told first base umpire Chris Conroy that he already missed arguing with umps.
“He said, ‘We don’t,’” Showalter quipped.
-- Steve Pearce will receive his first start of the season today, batting sixth as the team’s designated hitter, on his 31st birthday. Pearce is the last Orioles player to receive a start.
“It took longer than I wanted it to,” Showalter said. “Steve’s good at it. Steve’s one of those guys that can sit and still [hit]. He works so hard at it, part of the reason he had wrist issues last year. He went a little too hard on it, I think he learned from that.”
-- The celebratory pies to the face that have been delivered by Orioles center fielder Adam Jones during postgame TV interviews used to be made of shaving cream, but this year they are actual pies made by Dangerously Delicious Pies in Canton.
-- Hitting coach Jim Presley is back after missing two games with a flu bug. Einar Diaz served as hitting coach in his absence.
-- Showalter said Bowie right-hander Zach Davies is fine today after getting hit on the right elbow by a comebacker Saturday in the second inning.
Here are the starting lineups: