I’ll close tonight with a few words from the Orioles’ battery.
“I came out today, felt good in the bullpen. I was a little amped up, first start of the season, and I was just pitching behind in the count too much today. Not getting ahead, attacking the zone like I wanted to. The walks hurt. It’s a tough lineup. They had hits when they needed it.”
(Overthrowing?) “I wouldn’t say overthrowing. Just a little bit excited. I had a tough time finding the zone.”
(Better than last year?) “Yeah a lot better. A completely different guy than last year. I felt strong, I felt like I had a lot of zip behind the ball. Just was up in the zone.”
(What he does when struggling with command) “That’s a tough lineup, and just trying to be a little bit too fine with a lot of their big hitters rather than trusting my stuff and attacking the zone. I felt strong throughout the whole game. The training’s really paying off. It’s just being able to settle in and getting ahead of the count.”
(Less amped next time?) “Yeah, hopefully I’ll be able to work hard the next few days and have a good bullpen session this week and get on track to where I need to be.”
(Still a step forward?) Obviously, I’d like to go deeper in the game and give the team a chance to win, so I’m not happy at all with today, but I’m on the right track to be where I need to be.”
(On Matusz) “He had good stuff. He just got behind hitters. It’s a tough lineup to get behind hitters. His stuff was there.
“His stuff is leaps and bounds better than last year. That’s the first step. He’s just got to get back to pitching.”
(On going to the mound twice in the fourth) “Just give him a little breather. That’s a lineup where things can snowball on you. Just trying to give him a little breather where he can focus and he did a good job battling where he could get through four innings with only allowing him four or five runs, whatever he allowed them.”
(On the walks) “He just got behind early. I think in the spring, he attacked, strike one, and that’s a very patient lineup where they’re not going to chase on you, especially if you’re 1-0, 2-0 on them. I think that’s the biggest thing. When he got ahead, he was able to get them out.”
(On Ivan Nova) “He’s got good stuff. He was able to mix his slider and mix his breaking ball in, and he’s got a fastball that’s in the low-to-mid 90s, so he’s got good stuff. He did a good job of scrambling the hits a little bit. We were able to get some hits, but just not put them together for the big inning.”