It wasn’t all bad.
The Orioles lost the nightcap, 8-3, to the Yankees. Brian Matusz gave up three of New York’s five home runs, tying his career high, and has lost seven consecutive starts.
“He got some balls elevated and had some trouble keeping the ball in the park,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Kind of took some of the momentum we had away with (Curtis) Granderson there, but he’s been doing that to a lot of people. He’s having a great year.
“We had trouble keeping the ball in the park there. Brian made some quality pitches, but in his league against really good competition, it doesn’t take much to get them back in the game.”
Asked if he noticed improvement from Matusz, Showalter replied, “Yeah, somewhat. He made a volume of better pitches, but Brian’s capable of better. Not much margin for error there. I thought we had a chance there in the eighth inning. I would have liked to push two or three runs across there and see what happened. But I was proud of the way we came out and scored a couple runs and responded to the three-spot with one of our own. He ran off some good sequences there for seven, eight or nine hitters, but it’s a constant challenge.
“Brian’s had some challenges. I’m proud of the way he’s responded to them for the most part and I think he’s only going to get better and better. The body of work statistically might not read particularly well, but he’s had some periods there where he looked pretty sharp. The command of the changeup wasn’t quite there for him, and when you get some counts in your favor against good lineups, you’ve really got to make another quality pitch, and he did that at times, but not enough.”
The Orioles settled for a split of today’s doubleheader, which didn’t leave Showalter particularly satisfied.
“We’re there 2-0, 3-3 and we think if we can get through the sixth there, we like our chances, but I don’t take any special good feeling from splitting a doubleheader,” he said. “Every time we play a game, we want to win. Brian’s had five or six days off. We’ll see where he slots out next time. I don’t ever go into it being satisfied with a split. We pitched pretty well until a certain period of 18 innings we had tonight.”