SARASOTA, Fla. - The Phillies scored once off Willie Eyre in the eighth, and Erik Kratz homered off Zach Phillips in the ninth to increase their lead to 4-1.
So how did Brian Matusz rate today’s performance, when he allowed one run and seven hits, with one walk and three strikeouts, over five innings?
“Good,” he said. “Being able to go as deep as I could, getting a lot of ground balls, double plays. Defense played great today. J.J. (Hardy) and (Robert) Andino up the middle are phenomenal, and Chris Davis made a great play on the (Roy) Halladay bunt to get the lead runner at third. And nice to have a little bit of help from the wind today, keeping (John) Mayberry’s ball in play. I felt good. I was able to battle.”
And that’s what Matusz will take from today’s start - he battled without having his best stuff and limited the Phillies to one run.
“Absolutely. That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “You’re not going to have the best stuff every day. Today, I was able to keep battling and get outs.
“It’s going to happen over the course of a season, multiple times. It’s being able to find a way to win, find a way to go as deep as I was able to go and keep grinding. That’s what I was able to do today.”
Asked to rate his chances of making the rotation, Matusz replied, “That’s out of my control. All I can do is go out there every fifth day and work hard and battle and keep throwing zeros up on the board.”
I’ll have more from Matusz after the game. Time to wait for the last three outs and meet with manager Buck Showalter.