Brian Matusz expressed confidence tonight that he'll regain his effectiveness once he's at Triple-A Norfolk. He sounds like he's in a good frame of mind.
"Absolutely," he said. "It's going to be tough. I'm not getting it done up here. It's not fair for the team. Every fifth day I go out there and make starts like this. It's just motivation for me to get down there and work with Mike Griffin, the pitching coach, and get myself back to regular form.
"For me, I need to continue to work on my strength and conditioning. Keep getting stronger. I'm working with Brady Anderson. We're putting weight back on and getting my conditioning underlined and being able to get my pitches back, having control. Not being able to locate the fastball has been really tough to pitch at this level. Not being able to pitch in and out and getting that sink on my two-seamer that I haven't had recently. And just continue working hard.
"It's tough going out there and having outings like this. It's never easy. But it just makes you want to work harder and get better. I know it sounds weird, but I'm excited for this opportunity to go down and be able to get back on track and keep working hard and be able to get back here when I'm ready.
"It's still the same game. My velocity isn't there. My command hasn't been there. And I haven't been very durable. It's been a tough year as a whole, so it's important for me to keep working hard."
Matusz gave up eight runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings. He allowed two more home runs, running his total to seven in his last three starts.
"I thought my curveball was pretty consistent throughout the whole game," he said. "The thing that hurt me was my four-seam command. It was cutting on me today and running over the middle of the plate to their big hitters. I thought I had a nice changeup today. Should have used it a little bit more, hindsight, but I've just got to be able to set guys up a little bit better and have an understanding on who to pitch to and who not to, and that's one other thing I'll be working on."
Is he confident that he'll return here quickly?
Confident be able to work way back quickly:
"That's the game plan," he said..
Matusz insists that he's 100 percent physically.
"I feel really good," he said. "I've been working real hard with Brady, working on my strength and conditioning. I feel like I'm in a lot better shape now. I still need to put on more weight. Still, my weight is a little bit lower and I need to continue working to put on more muscle and get back to being myself."
Matusz believes that getting stronger will increase the velocity on his fastball.
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure," he said. "If I continue getting stronger and keep working with my long toss and throwing, my velocity should increase."
Matusz also can tweak his mechanics at Norfolk, but not obsess over them.
"That's something I've been working on since spring training, and to be honest with you, I've been overthinking my mechanics and that's been the problem," he said. "Instead of going out there having a game plan and worrying about the location of the pitch and how to attack hitters, that's something that got in my head a little bit, where I was worrying a little bit too much about mechanics rather than focusing on getting stronger and doing the other things I need to do. My mechanics are fine. They'll find a place where I'll continue to work hard and I'm excited to get down there and work with Griff."