SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez retired the Red Sox in order in the top of the first inning today, getting a line drive to short and two ground balls. He threw 13 pitches, eight for strikes.
A.J. Pierzynski doubled leading off the second, but Gonzalez retired the next three batters. By my unofficial count, he threw nine of his 10 pitches for strikes.
Update: Gonzalez gave up two runs in the third, including Brock Holt’s leadoff home run on the first pitch. Daniel Nava doubled with one out, Jackie Bradley Jr. walked and Pierzynski delivered a two-out RBI single.
Brian Matusz will follow Gonzalez to the mound today after spending Sunday night in the emergency room at Sarasota Memorial following an allergic reaction to peanut oil and an asthma attack.
“I was out at dinner and I ate something that had peanut oil in it and I had an allergic reaction to it,” Matusz said. “Fortunately, I had an EpiPen at home, so I took that along with some Benadryl. I went to the hospital and they did a great job. Hooked me up to an IV right away. I started feeding meds. But once the first EpiPen wore off, the peanut was still in my system and I had another reaction in the hospital. My throat swelled up, my chest swelled up. And along with the peanut allergy, I have asthma, so my lungs swelled as well and had an asthma attack.
“Fortunately, I was in a good place and the doctors and everyone did a great job and I was able to do another EpiPen and feed some fluids in and hook up to a respiratory mask and I was able to get through it. I was able to come out of it OK.
“It was one of those things where, during the time it wasn’t very much fun, but once the peanut was able to get through the system and flushed out through IV fluids, it was able to kind of relieve itself on its own. Yesterday, I was pretty tired, but I was able to rest all day, and I woke up today feeling 100 percent.”
Matusz has had the allergy for as long as he can remember.
“It’s something I’ve had ever since I was a little kid, but the peanut allergy, as I’ve gotten older, the more times that it’s occurred, the worse that it’s gotten,” he said. “It was one of those things I have to deal with and be prepared, having an EpiPen around all the time and take precautionary measures and go to an ER whenever there’s an occurrence.”
Most recently, it also happened two years ago in Seattle and last spring in Sarasota, but Sunday night’s reaction was the worst.
“As you guys know, peanut oil or peanut substance can be in just about anything. So, it’s one of those things where you’ve got to be careful,” he said.
“It was definitely scary. I called my mom as soon as it happened and she said, ‘Brian, get to the hospital.’ I called (assistant athletic trainer) Brian Ebel and he said the same thing. And fortunately I was able to be in the hospital when the second attack happened.
“It’s happened so many times. Doctors say it’s going to get worse and worse the more it happens, and they were right. But I was in good hands and the doctors did a good job and were able to take care of it.”
Shifting gears here, third baseman Manny Machado met with reporters after the club announced that it renewed his contract for the 2014 season after the sides couldn’t reach agreement.
“It’s something that, am I disappointed about the system? Yeah, but it’s the system and I’m going go out there and try to be healthy, try to get out there as fast as possible, be the best teammate I can be, and then be the best player I can be out there and play for the fans and play for the organization and play for the Orioles and the people who root for me every day,” he said.
“You just kind of wipe it all away. You can’t think about it. It’s the system, and the system is never going to change. It sucks. Yeah, it does suck. The only thing I can control is to go out there and play and be the best player I can be. Go out there and play. Play for the fans. Play foremost.
“There’s only two things out there. Go out there and be the best teammate you can be, be the best clubhouse guy and be out there and play for the fans. The fans are the ones who come out here and watch you play and enjoy every moment of it.”
The Braves have been locking up their young players with long-term extensions, and Machado would welcome the same type of deal with the Orioles.
“Foremost, I’m happy for all those guys,” he said. “It’s awesome to be in their situation and be good for the next six years and take a little bit of pressure off yourself. I’d be up for it. I’m open to it. Nothing has come up yet. We’ll see what happens.
“I’m happy for them. It’s great. My main focus now is to get back on the field and put on the uniform again.”
Machado, who earned $495,000 last season and is under team control through 2018, was reminded that he will be in a stronger bargaining position once he reaches his arbitration years and if he’s willing to test the free agent market. It’s only during the first three years when the front office can flex it’s financial muscle.
“Obviously, time will tell. The only thing I can control now is me getting back on the field, which is the only thing that’s in my power now,” he said. “The contract is up to my agent (Dan Lozano) and the team. The little things that you can’t control, out of my reach, how I’ve always thought of it, how I grew up and my mom saying, ‘Control what you can control.’ And what I can control right now is my health being back out there.
“It’s just the system. That’s what’s disappointing about it. The system’s never going to change. The only thing I can change is just how I go about my business and get back out there.
“I wasn’t expecting anything. It’s just something where you go out there and give all the effort you can give. Obviously, you have respect for something. Growing up, my mom always taught me if you go out and help an elderly lady cross the street, you’re not expecting a million dollars. You’re not expecting something. You’re just giving that out of a good gesture. You go out there and help the elderly lady. I wasn’t expecting a raise. I wasn’t expecting anything. It’s the system, how it is.”