Brian Matusz got back into the rotation today. Now we’re left to wonder again whether he’ll stay in it.
Matusz was charged with five runs in 1 1/3 innings today, the last one scoring while he sat in the dugout. Chris Jakubauskas served up a grand slam to Robinson Cano with one out in the second to give New York an 8-5 lead.
Just another day at Yankee Stadium. You’re surprised?
Matusz allowed five hits, walked two and struck out three. He threw 46 pitches, 24 for strikes.
His fastball reached 90 mph, but that’s not important. The issue is command.
He hung a curveball that Curtis Granderson roped for a two-run double in the second. The inning began with a leadoff walk to Jesus Montero after the Orioles had taken a 5-2 lead.
Matusz has allowed five earned runs or more in his last six starts. Today’s outing matched his shortest, on June 12 against Tampa Bay, not including an early exit due to injury.
Does manager Buck Showalter give Matusz another start? Is Matusz the odd-man out with six starters on the roster, not counting Rick VandenHurk? Does Showalter finally decide to put Jim Johnson in the rotation and move Matusz to the bullpen?
Update: Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer in the top of the third to reduce the Yankees’ lead to 8-7. Freddy Garcia couldn’t get out of the inning, so it’s a battle of the bullpens.
Kyle Hudson got his first major league hit off reliever Scott Proctor after already collecting his first RBI on a fielder’s choice grounder in the second.
Update II: Robert Andino’s third home run this season, an opposite-field shot off Proctor in the fifth, has tied the game, 5-5.
The Yankees are making another pitching change as they try to keep pace with the Orioles.
Update III: Another home run to right field, this one by Montero on the first pitch from Jim Johnson, gave New York a 9-8 lead in the bottom of the fifth. It was Montero’s first major league home run, and it brought a curtain call.