Left-hander Brian Matusz has held Erie to two hits over four scoreless innings tonight at Double-A Bowie. He's walked one and struck out none.
I don't know if it qualified as a monkey on Jeremy Guthrie's back, or the weight of the world, but he should feel a bit lighter after today's 8-3 victory over the Nationals.
Guthrie hadn't won since the season opener at Tropicana Field.
It sure helps when a team scores runs for you. If you doubted it, well, here's your proof.
"The team swung the bats really well. One through nine we put pressure on them. You can't say enough about how well we were able to battle against a tough pitcher today," Guthrie said.
"It feels good. I don't think I pitched with the lead in over a month or close to a month, so to see the team fight back right away, put some runs on the board, put the responsibility back on my shoulders to try to keep the momentum on our side. ... We were able to do that and then break it open late."
Guthrie had an interesting week with his relief appearance against the Yankees and being pushed back two days.
Asked to describe it, Guthrie said, "Not too bad. I was able to throw a bullpen the day after I pitched in the 15th inning, which was my normal side session day. So I threw and then had a day off and then pitched today, so it didn't throw it off too bad. It's been kind of a crazy season anyhow. I've had some large breaks to start with when I was in the hospital. And we've had a lot of off days, a lot of rainouts, so it's been kind of a strange season for the pitchers to really get on a routine. But for the most part, there's certain days you focus on what you have to get done and prepare yourself for the start."
Guthrie got a huge double play grounder from Matt Stairs to end the sixth, allowing him to continue for one more inning.
"Yeah, I didn't know Jim (Johnson) was warming up, but I did know I wanted to get a pitch down to Matt," Guthrie said. "He's aggressive and he can do damage if you get it up, so that was one of those pitches I was able to locate better than the majority of the other ones and we got a big double play. A good pick by (Brandon) Snyder at first."
Adam Jones apparently took great pleasure in seeing Guthrie's winless streak end today.
"I think Adam Jones is more vocal," Guthrie said. "He's always saying, 'You know we're going to try to get you a win.' Obviously, he cares about everybody on the team and wants to win every game. He said, 'Hey we finally got you a win.'
"It's a team game and I think the majority of the guys understand that, so not too many players dwell on who may or may not be getting a 'W' that night. We're all trying to win together. The team celebrates together when we win, and when we lose the team feels the pain together, so I think it's more of a team thing. But Jones sticks out as one that has said something in the past and said something to me today.
Looking beyond Guthrie, the Orioles needed this win after losing four in a row and surrendering 30 runs in the last two games.
"I think the guys game out focused today," Guthrie said. " From the start we had tough at-bats against them. And, you know, there's been tough games, but we have a group of guys that are resilient and we've been knocked down a few times this year and gotten back up each time, so I don't think anybody in the clubhouse anticipated anything different."