CLEARWATER, Fla. - Brian Matusz pitched 2 1/3 innings today before manager Buck Showalter sprinted out of the dugout and removed him from the game.
Matusz was charged with one run at the time, on Ryan Howard’s homer, but reliever Chris George allowed an inherited runner to score on Shane Victorino’s double with one out in the fifth inning.
Josh Bell just doubled with two outs in the sixth to score Nolan Reimold, who was hit by a pitch and stole second base. Orioles 3, Phillies 2.
Matusz threw 52 pitches, 36 for strikes. He’s charged with two runs and two hits, with one walk and one strikeout.
Matusz walked the leadoff hitter in the fifth, Carlos Ruiz, after getting ahead, 0-2. His pitch count rose later in the inning after first baseman Brandon Snyder dropped a pop up in front of the dugout.
Meanwhile, we’re told that Derrek Lee will visit hand specialist Dr. Brian Schofield at 3 p.m. today in Sarasota. Schofield, a team orthopedic consultant, will examine Lee’s wrist.
Here are some quotes from Justin Duchscherer, who tossed two scoreless innings in his debut:
“I really didn’t know what to expect. My only goal today was to go out there and be pain-free, and that was accomplished. I wasn’t going out there for certain results. I just wanted to go out there and throw and come off the field and not feel like my hip was hurting, and that was accomplished.
“Right now, I’m trying to get over the mental hurdle of knowing that I can do it without hurting. When I’m at my best, I know what I have. I can hit the mitt at any time I want. I go out there confident and do what I can do. Right now, I’m a little tentative, worried about where I’m landing, how I’m landing. For me today, it was a good learning process that’s going to give me confidence for the next one.”
Duchscherer said his stuff “wasn’t great” and added, “My command isn’t where I’d want it to be. I haven’t pitched in 10 months. I went out and got the job done as best I could. I’m satisfied with that.
“I think it’s a little frustrating because when I’m at my best, at midseason form, which is what I’m accustomed to, rather than where I am right now, coming off injuries is a different process than if you’re not hurt. This one is different because with the other surgeries, I went out and didn’t have setbacks. It’s kind of like normal. I didn’t feel what I felt a week or 10 days ago with this one. Mentally, it’s a little different. I have to learn to have confidence and just go out there and let it go. I think today helped.
“Obviously, I have to see how it feels tomorrow, but the way I felt now going in and getting ice, I feel better after two innings than I did after that BP session. Maybe that’s a positive. I don’t expect anything to bother me tomorrow, but you never know.”
Asked if he did more thinking on the mound since he had been shut down, Duchscherer replied, “If you’re not a pitcher, you don’t understand what I mean. When I go out there, I’m thinking, see the glove, hit the glove. I know who’s hitting. I know what I want to do. I know my approach. I know what he wants to do. I know his approach. Now, my head’s more focused on my body than my mechanics, which is what I should be focusing on. Once I get some confidence that I can do it without pain like I did today, I feel that will go away and I’ll get more into my game plan.”