Brian Matusz didn’t know his pitch count when Rick Kranitz instructed him to go back out for the fifth inning.
The plan was four innings. His count must have been low.
“If I can keep getting ahead of hitters and doing that, I can go deep into games, and that’s what’s really important,” he said.
“I didn’t have any three-ball counts today. I had a couple two-ball counts, but I didn’t have any three-ball counts and I didn’t walk anybody, so that’s a positive. It means I’m really attacking the zone, and it’s tough to do with a tough lineup like that. I’m just really happy about that.”
Matusz wasn’t trying to force the Phillies into putting the ball in play and lower his strikeout total. It just worked out that way.
“These are the National League champions last year and all the same guys in that lineup,” he said. “They’re a good team. They’re not going to punch out as easily. I was making good pitches. I was getting ground ball outs, popups, things like that. I was able to get some first-pitch outs, second-pitch outs, which is huge to go deep into games. The strikeouts weren’t there, but I felt like my philosophy was the same. I was pounding the zone.”
Jayson Werth shattered his bat on a weak popup to first base. He saw the left-hander running in the outfield later and yelled, “Hey Matusz, was that a cutter?”
Nope. Just a regular fastball that can turn the lumber into kindling.
Meanwhile, Justin Turner doubled to open the eighth inning.
Manager Dave Trembley had a long talk with Robert Andino beside the dugout after the top of the eighth. That’s two lectures today, including one with Adam Jones. Again, Trembley was smiling at the end, and he threw an arm around Andino as he finished.
Koji Uehara is pitching the ninth and trying for the save.