BOWIE, Md. - Brian Matusz has completed his work tonight at Double-A Bowie and left with a three-hit shutout and 2-0 lead after six innings and 70 pitches.
Matusz gave up a bunt single in the second, a double in the fourth and an infield single in the sixth. Only three runners reached second base against him and two of those did that with stolen bases.
He will meet with Buck Showalter and pitching coach Mark Connor tomorrow at Camden Yards to determine whether his next start will be in the minors or whether he will rejoin the Orioles. It looks like his next outing will come Thursday.
Matusz threw just five pitches in a very quick first, followed by 10, 12, 12, 18 and 13 pitches. He threw 40 strikes. He had one walk and one strikeout.
In his two rehab starts this week, Matusz has now pitched 10 innings between Single-A Frederick and Bowie, allowing five hits and one run with three walks and three strikeouts.
Here is what Matusz said about his outing:
How did you feel about this game tonight?
“I felt good out there at times. Was able to throw strikes and work in all my pitches today. At times, I feel like I’m pulling off a little bit and I just have to be able to get my rhythm and my timing. It was off at times. A little off, but that’s expected. The most important thing, my health is great. I feel good, I feel strong.
“I was still able to battle and go out and throw strikes and get outs and that’s the most important thing. I got my work in and my 70 pitches. That’s exactly where I want to be and I am right on track. Now I will sit down with Buck (Showalter) and Mark Connor and see what our next move is going to be.”
Could you use another start in the minors or are you ready to return to Baltimore?
“It’s tough to tell right now. I’d like to sit on it a little bit before I make that decision. I feel good about today, I did some nice things. It was fun coming back here to Bowie, a real fun atmosphere. I will talk to Mark Connor and Buck and see what they think. A lot of it has to do with the team and what moves they want to make. Might have a better answer tomorrow.”
How were all your pitches tonight?
“My two-seamer wasn’t very good today. It was OK. My four-seamer, I had more command of. I threw some nice changeups that felt good, but some were a little up in the zone. That’s OK, just a small adjustment. Slider was great today and curveball I didn’t use that much. It’s just a matter of getting in a flow and a good feel and it’s coming. I’m feeling good about it.”
Why did you think your two-seam fastball was not very good today?
“I was just pulling off of it, not staying gathered back behind the rubber like I want. Just small adjustments you have to make during the game. Today, other pitches were working for me so I went to that.”
Has it been hard to watch the last week knowing you want to be out there?
“No, it hasn’t been hard for me because I am on my own program right now. It’s a process for me to get ready. Sure, I want to be out there really bad and I’m itching to get there, but I know that, I need to be ready. That’s the most important thing. I am right on track where I want to be.”
Matusz certainly looked good tonight and had very positive results. But he seemed to say with those comments that there is more to work on and it appeared his velocity was mid to high 80’s mostly and likely a tick or two off what it normally is. That is probably because he is still working his way back.
We should know perhaps tomorrow where and when Matusz’s next start will be.