Brian Matusz doesn’t necessarily have his best stuff today. He’s hung a few changeups, including one that Jack Wilson ripped into center field for an RBI single. His fastball looks like it’s topping out at 88 mph.
But Matusz is a pitcher. He’s not just a thrower. And he’s held the Mariners to that one run over three innings.
Matusz, in his first start this season, has allowed four hits, walked none and struck out two. He’s thrown 44 pitches, including 28 for strikes.
The Orioles might be ahead, 1-0, if catcher Matt Wieters had backhanded Adam Jones’ throw to the plate in the second inning. The ball skipped past Wieters, who probably would have tagged out Miguel Olivo.
Olivo ran into Wieters, but the Orioles’ catcher barely moved. I’m sure everyone had visions of Buster Posey, but Wieters was fine - except he didn’t field the ball cleanly.
Once again, the Orioles gave up a run with two outs. It’s happened with regularity on this road trip.
Matusz retired Justin Smoak, last night’s hero, on a pop up to first baseman Nick Markakis to end the third inning and strand Ichiro Suzuki at second base.
Meanwhile, Chris Tillman starts tonight for Triple-A Norfolk. The rest of the Tides’ rotation includes Mitch Atkins tomorrow, Brad Bergesen Friday, Jason Berken Saturday and Rick VandenHurk Sunday.