Brian Matusz's season is over.
He allowed six earned runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings. He was victimized by two homers, a three-run shot by Victor Martinez and a two-run homer by Miguel Cabrera.
The line was a little uglier than how Matusz (1-9) pitched. Besides the longballs, he did OK. He actually got out of a tough bases-loaded jam in the third when he induced Martinez to ground into a double play.
He was hitting 89-92 mph with his fastball and his off-speed stuff looked a little crisper.
The bottom line, though, is that he gave up five or more earned runs for the eighth consecutive start. His season ERA sits at 10.69, the highest in baseball history for someone who has made at least 10 starts. Matusz, who has started 12 games in 2011, surpassed the mark set by two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, who had a 10.64 ERA as a 23-year-old with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2000.
Matusz, 24, said he is determined to put this season behind him – but not forget about it, either.
"For me, I just got to continue getting stronger and healthier and just being able to fine tune my pitches," he said. "I haven't really thought too much about how much time I am going to take off. But I'm going to use that time to mentally clear my head. But I don't want to take time off working out, I want to continue getting stronger and keep at that from the get-go."
He admitted that this has "been the hardest year of my life, that's for sure."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he thinks Matusz is improving and thinks he can return to the form Matusz exhibited in the final two months of 2010, when he won his final six decisions.
"It's a work in progress," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter about Matusz. "I fully expect Brian to be a good option for us next year. I think he'll go home and … he'll figure it out. He's got a lot of things going on that he's doing right. He's just not able to get a return for it right now on the mound."