Brian Matusz said he knows he could be a busy man over the next week or so. The Yankees have some big guns that bat from the left side, including Ichiro Suzuki, who has hit .394 over his last 16 games, and Robinson Cano, whose bat is absolutely sizzling right now.
Cano has posted nine straight multi-hit games, going 24-for-39 for a .615 average with seven doubles, three homers and 14 RBIs during that torrid stretch.
“They have a pretty left-handed heavy lineup and some pretty good ones there too. So, this will be a series where I have to be ready every game and prepare myself to face those guys,” Matusz said.
Matusz said it was not a stretch to call his strikeout of Josh Hamilton in the eighth inning last night the biggest out of his career.
“No, not at all,” Matusz said. “Up to this point, It’s the biggest game I’ve ever pitched in. Nice to get that first one out of the way and get some postseason experience. You know, once you get out there on the mound it’s the same game. Attack the zone and make quality pitches. (Matt) Wieters threw the fastball down and I felt confident with that pitch and gave it everything I had.”
Matusz has pitched to an ERA of 1.35 out of the bullpen with 20 strikeouts over 13 2/3 innings. He has held lefty batters to a .175 average against and OPS of .528 this year.
He was asked today if the Orioles relish the underdog role and are out to prove the doubters wrong.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say we are out to prove people wrong, but proving ourselves right,” he said. “We know we have the talent and all the pieces. After last year, a lot of people had us rated lower but we knew we have what it takes to succeed and carry this team to the World Series and win it. We’re going to keep having fun and prove to ourselves that we know we are the best.”
He said the Orioles have a great clubhouse chemistry that plays a big role in their success.
“It’s huge. We’ve all been through this together. It’s been a long road and we’ve had our ups and downs, but we all get along really well. We come to the field every day having fun and joking around. Create that camaraderie that we thrive off of,” Matusz said.