Manager Dave Trembley doesn’t seem overly concerned about Brian Matusz, who’s allowed four first-inning runs in back-to-back starts and fell to 2-5 with a 5.76 ERA.
“I think it’s a combination of him pitching in the middle of the plate, the ball up, and he’s not getting his two-seamer across,” Trembley said. “He’s throwing a lot of four-seamers and he likes to pitch in to right-handed hitters with his four-seamer. I think we saw that last year when he came up, especially the first time when he pitched against Detroit, when he punched out guys back-to-back and he pounded them in. He’s not getting his fastball in on hitters and the two-seamer’s not getting away. After the second inning, he did and he pitched real good.
“The first inning, that’s the difference in the game. Heck, you stick (Trevor) Cahill with four runs in the first and he’s a ground ball machine. Everybody knows how he’s pitched his last three or four starts and what his numbers are. It’s hard to overcome that.”
Matusz retired 10 in a row heading into the sixth.
“That’s the way he’s capable of pitching and that’s Brian Matusz,” Trembley said. “We’ve all got to find a way to get him more in line and be consistent right from the very beginning. The first inning tonight wasn’t him, it just wasn’t him, and it cost us.”
Trembley also talked about reliever Frank Mata, who made his major league debut.
“He hasn’t pitched in a while,” Trembley said. “I think you’ll see, the next time he pitches, a little more sink because he’s a ground ball pitcher and he’ll sink the ball, but he was probably overthrowing and the ball was up for him.”
What about Garrett Atkins’ first home run?
“That’s one more thing that everybody can put to bed now, that he hit a home run,” Trembley said. “I’m sure he feels a lot better because of it, but it would have been a lot nicer if we had won the game. So, that’s how I kind of look at it. I’m sure he would be of the same mindset.”
And finally, what happened to Matt Wieters, who appeared to sustain an injury while applying the tag on Ryan Sweeney in the sixth?
“I think it was kind of like he got a little stinger there, but he said he was fine,” Trembley said. “They took him back underneath the tunnel and he swung both sides. He didn’t have a problem, he didn’t feel anything. (Adam) Jones made a heck of a throw and Matt has shown the ability to hang in there right at the last minute to put the tag on.
“I was kind of hoping that would turn it around for us, but it didn’t. They just pitched better and they catch everything. They’re a real good defensive club. That’s their thing. That’s how they play.”