Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Orioles Insider
Sports Orioles Orioles Insider

The day after: The lowdown on Brian Matusz's debut

Now that Orioles fans have had some time to digest left-hander Brian Matusz's 2012 debut, let's really take a look at the pluses and minuses of his outing against the Yankees, a 6-2 loss, on Monday night.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter and catcher Matt Wieters both said emphatically that Matusz is leaps and bounds better than what he was last year.

Matusz's velocity was there. He was mostly in the 91-92 range, the same as we saw during the spring, and nowhere near the mid-80s he dropped into last year. Even after the 90-pitch mark, he was still throwing 91. 

So for now, let's put that to rest.

That 30-pitch first inning was damaging. He threw first-pitch strikes to just two of the six hitters he faced that inning.

For the rest of the game, Matusz was better, throwing first-pitch strikes to 11 of the 21 hitters he faced. Now, that's not a great number, but it's definitely better than it seemed. But he lost far too many hitters into 2-0 and 3-1 counts. He had eight three-ball counts, four of them turning into walks.

And obviously, that's not something you can do against the Yankees and expect to win. They always seem to pounce on that. Matusz might have been able to dodge damage against other American League lineups, but not New York's.

Granted, Matusz also had some help from his defense. Wieters threw out Derek Jeter trying to steal third to end a threat. And  J.J. Hardy made a lunging play in the hole to avert further damage in the Yankees' three-run fourth.

Matusz has taken steps forward in rebounding from last year. You have to give him credit for taking his career into his own hands and dedicating himself to becoming better in the offseason. It showed this spring. You also have to give him kudos for making it clear he wasn't happy with his first outing. He could have spun it the other way. But Monday's game goes to show he's still a ways away from getting his groove back.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Time-lapse from Orioles home opener

    Time-lapse from Orioles home opener

    Baseball returns to Camden Yards as the Orioles take on the Blue Jays in their home opener. (Christopher T. Assaf/Baltimor

  • Orioles in April

    Orioles in April

    Browse pictures of Orioles baseball games in April 2015.

  • Orioles Opening Day at Camden Yards

    Orioles Opening Day at Camden Yards

    Look through photos from Orioles Opening Day festivities at Camden Yards on April 10. The Orioles will face the Toronto Blue Jays in their 62nd home opener in Baltimore. 

  • Orioles player salaries for 2015

    Orioles player salaries for 2015

    With the 2015 baseball season just underway, USA Today has released its annual comprehensive list of player salaries. The publication gathers the data from "documents obtained from the MLB Players Association, club officials and filed with Major League Baseball's central office. Deferred payments...

  • All-Time Greatest Orioles

    All-Time Greatest Orioles

    In the six decades since they returned to the American League, 982 players have suited up for the Orioles. Who are the all-time best? Here are The Baltimore Sun's picks — six men at each position, except outfield and starting pitcher (nine apiece). We ranked the top six managers, too, from 1954...

  • Orioles Season Preview 2015

    Orioles Season Preview 2015