BOSTON - Manager Buck Showalter thought the biggest issue for left-hander Brian Matusz tonight was a lack of fastball command.
Matusz said he couldn’t command anything, fastball included.
Matusz was charged with five runs (four earned) and four hits in two-plus innings in the Orioles’ 7-0 loss to the Red Sox. He walked five batters.
“Yeah, it was just everything today, just out of my rhythm,” Matusz said after turning in his shortest outing of the year. “I couldn’t find my rhythm, couldn’t find the groove and obviously walks were the problem. And just didn’t have good command of anything.”
It had to be disappointing for Matusz after four straight quality starts.
“Any rough start is disappointing regardless of when it comes,” he said. “For me, I just look past this and move forward and get back working with (pitching coach) Rick Adair and get back on my normal routine.”
Matusz still believed as he returned to the mound in the third inning that he’d bounce back and pitch deeper into the game. He faced one batter, gave up a hit and was gone.
“Yeah, absolutely,” he said. “Every time I step on the mound I have the belief that I can get the job done. Just didn’t find my rhythm. Came out and gave up the leadoff hit to (Adrian) Gonzalez. Left the ball up in the zone, and obviously pitch count was the big issue.
“I don’t feel like there was any dramatic problems today in my mechanics. Just a matter of being inconsistent and not finding a good rhythm.”
He had no margin for error with Boston starter Clay Buchholz tossing a shutout.
“After seeing him a couple times this year, we had a pretty good idea of what he wanted to go out there and do,” said Chris Davis, who doubled for the Orioles’ only extra-base hit in the last 22 innings. “We knew he was throwing the ball well lately. His changeup was really good tonight, his breaking ball was there when he needed it and he did a good job of keeping us off balance and throwing strikes. It seemed like every hitter he was ahead of, and you’ve got to tip your hat to him.”
At least the Orioles made him work for it. Buchholz threw 125 pitches.
“We didn’t just go out there and lay down,” Davis said. “We knew he was throwing well. After last night’s performance, you want to try to get some runs early and try to get to him early and maybe get in their bullpen. We did a good job of working the counts, but he was just good. He wasn’t giving in. He was putting us away with all three of his pitches, cutting it to lefties a little bit. He looked really good tonight.”
Davis and the rest of the Orioles are eager to get home after a nine-game, three-city road trip.
“This is what’s tough about this division,” he said. “You face good pitchers night in and night out, and it’s even tougher on the road, so we’re excited to get back home and rattle off some wins.”