The Orioles improved to 8-1 in series openers under manager Buck Showalter. They were 9-25 before his arrival.
Showalter used one of his favorite expressions, saying he didn’t think Brian Matusz was “carrying all his bullets tonight.” He brings up bullets frequently. I hope he isn’t forced to start calling them “wizards.”
“He got through it and gave us a chance to win,” Showalter said. “I’m not going to say he made the pitches when he had to. You hear enough of that, but tonight I think it was the case. The good thing about Brian is he gets out of sorts a little bit and he’s kind of able to get himself back into sync and make some good pitches. But he got into a count and just threw a little bit instead of pitching to the second baseman (Jed Lowrie). But it’s a good outing. He gave us a chance to win.
“We got some outs from the bullpen, got a little tack-on there at the end to give us some breathing room. Obviously, it was a big eighth inning for us. It felt like the ballgame was kind of riding in that area.”
More on Matusz: “He’s fine. It was just the crispness. The curveball wasn’t there. It was pretty much a two-pitch mix for him for the most part. He did do a great job with Ortiz and Drew. He negated a couple left-handed bats for the most part. I think that certainly helped matters.”
Koji Uehara threw 21 pitches, 17 for strikes, while retiring all five batters he faced and recording his fifth save.
“It was a situation where the game called for where they were in the batting order,” Showalter said. “I’ve been telling you all along, it may not be conventional, but it gives the Orioles the best chance to win there. It doesn’t always work out that way, but we took our pop there and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
I asked Showalter about his long conversation with Luke Scott in the dugout. Was it something he could share?
“After the series,” he replied. “Just setting up potentials, things we came close to doing, making sure he was thinking the same way I was if we had done something there.”