Brian Matusz says a combination of less than stellar command, nerves and spending too much time focusing on the hitter rather than his own game, all led to his short outing on Sunday at Toronto.
Matusz gave up seven hits and five runs, three homers, in just 2 2/3 innings vs. the Blue Jays.
“I’ve learned a lot, a lot about myself. I know what my strengths are,” the 22-year-old lefty said. “Yesterday, I didn’t pitch to my strengths. We went over the scouting report before the game and we kind of had an idea how we’d go after each hitter.
“I think we focused too much on going after their weaknesses rather than pitching my own game. Which is fine, it’s a learning process. Matt (Wieters) and I are still trying to learn each other. He’s trying to learn what type of pitcher I am, I’m trying to learn how he likes to call a game.”
Now Matusz has to rebound from a rare poor outing. When he went 7-0, 1.55 at Double-A, he didn’t have to regroup after many poor outings.
“Every pitcher, every player goes through tough outings. No one wants to have them, ever. I’ve learned so much from yesterday I can carry over to my next start. Don’t get down, it can happen anytime where you don’t have your stuff that day and guys are seeing the ball well. I’ll make adjustments and make improvements.
“I got behind in counts and then I went after hitters more than I wanted to. I couldn’t get settled in and use all my pitches. That was because I was behind in the count. Plus, I let nerves get to me a little and that led to leaving some balls over the plate.”
Matusz had been in the Orioles clubhouse before, but today he walked in as a Major Leaguer for the first time.
“Being here in the clubhouse as a player is an incredible feeling. I’m taking advantage of every day. I’ve worked really hard to be given this opportunity and I’ll take advantage of it every day.
“Initially I was surprised (to get called up). But at the same time I wasn’t. I’ve worked hard and was throwing really well in Bowie. It was the right place at the right time and everything came together.”
Now Matusz, who is 1-1, 7.04, can’t wait for his third Major League start, this weekend vs. the Angels.
“I wouldn’t say, I’m out to redeem myself, but I just want to go out and pitch my game.”