Since slow start, Brian Matusz has been among O’s best starters

Brian Matusz’s comeback from last year’s 1-9 season and 10.69 ERA picked up more steam last night when the left-hander gave up just two hits and one run with one walk and nine strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings in a 4-1 win over Boston.

Some fans probably doubted Matusz when he began this year 0-3 with an ERA of 7.98 over his first three outings. But since then, over his past six starts, he is 4-1 with an ERA of 3.57.

Believe it or not, since those poor first three starts, Matusz leads Orioles starters in wins, is tied for first in quality starts and is second in ERA.

O’s starters since April 20:
*Brian Matusz is 4-1, 3.57 ERA with four of six quality starts.
*Wei-Yin Chen is 3-1, 3.38 ERA with four of six quality starts.
*Jason Hammel is 3-1, 3.60 ERA with three of five quality starts.
*Tommy Hunter is 1-1, 4.71 ERA with two of six quality starts.
*Jake Arrieta is 1-4, 5.91 ERA with two of six quality starts.

In one those six starts, Texas got seven runs off Matusz. If you could take that outing away, his ERA would be 2.08 since April 20. He has allowed 14 earned runs over those six starts and half of those came in that one start.

Matusz is now 3-1 with an ERA of 3.58 in seven career starts against Boston.

In a sport that features some interesting notes and stats, I saw this on Twitter last night via ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume:

Matusz last night became the first Oriole left-hander to beat the Red Sox with a game of nine or more strikeouts and allow one or fewer runs since Arthur Rhodes on June 25, 1995.

Berthiaume also tweeted this last night: “If Brian Matusz has figured it out and can maintain this, the rest of season it’s a real game changer for #Orioles and AL East.”

Matusz showed again last night that he can be a pitcher with an excellent four-pitch assortment and it is not all about velocity for him. He threw some excellent breaking balls in that outing. He has kind of quietly become a consistent starter for this club since those first three outings.

Orioles pitching had allowed 22 runs on 36 hits over the previous three games and then matched their low-hit game of the year with a four-pitcher, two-hitter in the win over Boston.

Some nights, it can look easy when you get good starting pitching. I’ll end this entry with this stat: The Orioles have gotten 22 quality starts from their pitchers this season. They are 21-1 in those games.

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