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Brian Matusz hates questions about his previous starts. But he had to know someone would ask how he dealt with giving up 10 ER over 4 2/3 coming into this start tonight.
Was it a test for him mentally as he took the mound tonight vs. Minnesota, coming off those two outings?
"For me, I take one game at a time. If I have a bad game, I forget about it. But the media likes to put a lot on, you know, if he has a couple bad starts is he going down (to the minors) and you guys make a big deal about that.
"For me, that's not an issue. I'm working on what I can do to make myself better and compete every fifth day. I forget about those starts, so no, it had no factor (on tonight)."
Juan Samuel meets with the media following the Birds' 7-2 loss to Minnesota
Matusz drew praise from Juan Samuel for how he regrouped from a 26-pitch, three-walk first inning. He gave up six hits and three runs over five innings, throwing 96 pitches.
Matusz said he made some adjustments with his mechanics before this outing.
"This last week, Kranny and I in our bullpen sessions, worked out some mechanical things that I thought really helped. We worked on keeping me in a straight line to stay square towards the plate and attack the zone better.
"I felt good coming in today, I felt locked in warming up. Then that first inning, I tried to do too much. I got ahead of myself and I was trying to win the game in the first inning.
"I didn't get in a groove, I was over-doing it. After that first inning, I relaxed myself and I felt good from that second inning on."
Delmon Young hit a two-run homer off Matusz in the fifth inning.
"It was a first pitch curveball and he hit it out. He's got a hot bat right now and I have no regrets on that pitch."
Matusz falls to 3-11, 5.22 on the year but said he has something to build on after his game tonight.
"Really happy with the confidence I have and the momentum I have coming into my next outing. Made a big stride today, really learned a lot about myself and really looking forward to my next start."
Matusz said the heat did not get to him but "it was tough out there, but I keep myself in good shape and I stay hydrated. I still felt strong in the fifth."
Here are some of Juan Samuel's comments on Matusz:
"I think Brian after that first inning, it looked like he wasn't going to make it. But he threw the ball well after that. For me the damage control was good and one key thing for me, he made the adjustment while he was out there.
"For a young pitcher that is the future of this organization, he showed a lot after what we saw in that first inning.
"It looked like to me that he slowed down and relaxed a bit after that first inning and he kept the ball down. This is something for him to build on, because like I said the way that first was going we didn't think he was going to make it."