CLEARWATER, Fla. - Brian Matusz turned in an impressive outing today against the Phillies, blanking them on three hits over four innings and striking out four batters - including Jim Thome and Hunter Pence to end the fourth.
We assumed that Matusz was done after three innings and 37 pitches, including 25 for strikes, but he returned for the bottom of the fourth. Didn't see that coming.
The hardest-hit balls came from Thome on a long fly to right-center field in the second and Shane Victorino on a double to left in the fourth. Neither single was scorched.
Matusz threw nine pitches in the first inning, seven for strikes. He threw 12 pitches in the third, 10 for strikes. Overall, he threw 37 of his 53 pitches for strikes.
Similar to his first start, Matusz's fastball topped out at 91 mph multiple times.
Ryan Flaherty and Wilson Betemit singled in the first against Phillies starter Joe Blanton. Jai Miller led off the second with a single. Joe Mahoney grounded into a double play, but Matt Antonelli walked and Xavier Avery singled.
Four hits and a walk in two innings against Blanton, but the game remained scoreless until the fourth.