Brian Matusz took the mound tonight and could have become the first O’s pitcher to win five consecutive starts since Erik Bedard did it in July of 2007.
But Yunel Escobar’s line drive changed those plans.
When Escobar, the second batter of the game, hit one back at the mound, Matusz took the liner on his left arm and suffered a left triceps contusion.
He faced three more batters but was pulled after one scoreless inning.
“Squared me up in the tricep. I felt fine. Honestly, at first, it was throbbing a little bit. Then I threw one pitch and Buck said ‘how’s it feel.’ I said ‘I just threw a strike with the warm-up pitch so I feel pretty good.’
“It felt fine, I finished the inning and I was okay. Richie (Bancells) asked again how I felt when I came in the dugout and I said fine. But Buck said ‘that’s it. Got you in the left arm, there is no need to extend you any further. It will swell up pretty soon.’
“It swelled up pretty good and it’s going to bruise up a little bit but it’s in a spot that really doesn’t scare me too much. It’s on the tricep and that’s why I didn’t feel it when I was throwing. But you don’t want it to cause any more problems.
“I didn’t want to come out at all, but it’s the smart thing to do in the long run. It was the right decision.”
Matusz also was hoping to continue to pitch well. He was 4-0, 2.00 over his last four games and went 4-1, 2.43 over six August starts.
“Once it hit me it was throbbing and I knew it got me good. I could bend it and move it, but it was throbbing. But when I finished the inning I felt fine but didn’t want the inflammation to effect me the rest of the game, which it probably would have.”
Now Matusz hopes he can stay on his routine, throw between starts as usual and make his next start when scheduled. That is to be determined.
“We’ll see how it feels tomorrow. Hopefully the swelling has gone down and I’ll leave a pressure pad on it tonight and see how it feels tomorrow and hopefully get back on schedule.”