NORFOLK, Va. - As this game moves into the late innings, Brian Matusz is still awaiting word that he is in the Orioles' starting rotation. Barring a major surprise, he'll get that word from Buck Showalter after this game.
Here is what Matusz said a few minutes ago outside the Orioles clubhouse.
On today's outing:
"I felt really good. From the start warming up with (Matt) Wieters in the bullpen. I had good stuff and attacked the zone early. Felt really good. Had a good feel for all pitches and felt I pounded four of my pitches in the strike zone pretty well. It was a good last start heading into the season."
Buck said you would throw 75 pitches, but you threw only 57. Any reason?
"I don't know the reason, he just told me that was it."
Have you been told yet that you've made the rotation?
"I haven't been told anything. No."
Do you deserve to be in the rotation?
"You know, my job is to go out there every fifth day and throw strikes and pound the zone and give the team a chance to win. That's all I worry about."
What he has been working on in camp:
"Strength and conditioning program and finding a routine that works. Tightening up the mechanics to be consistent and quicker to home plate."
Why is your velocity better now?
"I contribute it to my strength and conditioning program and long toss program this offseason and being able to throw the fastball with confidence. It's just been a progression of hard work."
Has this spring given you confidence?
"Absolutely. I've worked really hard all spring to get back to my form and I pounded the zone really well all spring. Feel like I'm getting on the right track.
"I forgot about last season. What is done is done. That's over with. For me it's start to a new year and prepare for the start of the season, that was my goal."