Talking about Guthrie, Fox and Matusz (updated)

You don’t have to worry about Jeremy Guthrie’s velocity today. His fastball topped out at 97 mph in the first inning.

The Reds forced Guthrie to throw 28 pitches in the inning. They didn’t score, but they had a single and walk. Guthrie struck out the last two batters he faced.

Mark Reynolds committed his 17th error in the second inning on a high throw to second base on an attempted force. That put runners on first and second with no outs. It also put Guthrie in quite a jam.

Miguel Cairo lined to center and Paul Janish popped up to Reynolds, who ranged behind the mound to make the catch. Chris Heisey popped up to shortstop J. J. Hardy, and Guthrie was back in the dugout with his pitch count at 40.

Update: Reynolds just committed his 18th error, giving him the major league lead. He had 18 last season with the Diamondbacks. His career high is 34.

You might find this stat to be interesting, or you might not. I’m rolling the dice here. Jake Fox is batting .353 (6-for-17) with two homers and five RBIs against left-handed pitching since being outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. He’s hitting .222 (8-for-36) with one homer and four RBIs against right-handers.

Fox is a career .206 hitter against left-handers. He batted .107 against them this season, which contributed to his limited playing time with the Orioles and eventual removal from the roster.

I need one more follower for an even 3,200 on Twitter (@masnRoch). But no pressure.

Manager Buck Showalter said he would speak later today with left-hander Brian Matusz and “kind of get a feel for where he is.”

Showalter didn’t mean Camden Yards.

Showalter was asked again about Matusz’s diminished velocity and whether it could be attributed to all the time spent on the disabled list.

“I think you’ve got to proceed like it’s not just five starts,” Showalter said. “He pitched in the spring and pitched in rehab starts, so it’s a pretty large sampling. There are some guys with a little more veteran status - Bronson Arroyo - that pitch successfully. It’s not always about velocity. He’s a guy that has multiple pitches. Him being left-handed, when he’s right it’s a four-pitch mix, so he’s got to be able to use those pitches. He’s had a couple of fairly good outings, and it’s been the case when he had command of that and was able to locate his fastball. It wasn’t the case last night.

“From a coaching standpoint, you’ve got to proceed with the idea of what are you going to do if that doesn’t jump all the way back initially. What’s the best way to create a way for him to have success up here without it for right now? Try to identify why and how you can try to get back there.

“That fastball to (Joey) Votto was as much command issues as it was velocity issues. You see a lot of his outs on the fastball were in the higher part of the strike zone. Actually, when he got his fastball down in his outings is where they squared him up, which kind of tells you when velocity comes into play. A lot of times when a guy is down with velocity, that’s where you want to be, but when you’re down without it, that creates some problems. The guys get extension on the ball down when they get to it.

“In some ways it may be a positive in the early stage of his career if you’re searching for a silver lining. The good thing is he’s got good secondary pitches. If he commands them, he should be OK. Last night was not an example of that.”

Showalter again dismissed the suggestion that Matusz might not be 100 percent physically.

“He’s strong,” Showalter said. “I think he has a healthy respect for what you to do to have success here. I think he’s been on both sides of that mountain. Physically, that’s probably the frustrating part for him in that he does feel good physically.”

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