After he had given up six runs over 5 1/3 innings against the Yankees tonight, a reporter asked Brian Matusz if he thought he had made any progress over his last two outings:
"Yeah, I've made some progress, being able to be a little more consistent with the fastball," Matusz said after the Orioles 8-3 loss to New York. "Signs of good changeups today, but I've not been able to make the 0-2 pitch or the two-strike pitch and that's been hurting me. Especially to good hitters in tough situations. Got to be able to overcome that and keep working."
The game was tied 3-3 in the sixth before Matusz gave up back-to-back homers to his last two hitters for a 6-3 Yankees lead. He is now 1-7 with an ERA of 9.07.
"I was battling all game and felt like I had good stuff and felt like I was under control, but the home run ball hurt me and pitches up in the zone. Working up way too much today."
Matusz, who has given up 17 earned runs over 16 innings in three starts since returning from the minors, was asked how he can improve on putting hitters away when he is ahead in the count.
"For me, it's just staying within myself rather than overthrow it and I come out of my delivery and that's what I've been doing.
"I was getting ahead of myself, rushing myself and leaving the ball up. Just have to take a step back, take a deep breath and make that pitch rather than trying to make it happen," he said.
Mark Reynolds gave New York's offense some credit as the Yankees hit five homers after getting shutout earlier in the day.
"They have a great offense and they've got three or four guys with 100 RBIs almost. It's our job to limit the big innings and they just kept tacking on a run here and there," he said.
Reynolds said the club was still pleased to win six of the last seven.
"Yeah, our starting pitching has been really good, they are keeping us in games. We pitched well during those six games (they won) and we caught the ball well and that's usually a formula for winning," Reynolds said.
Reynolds is now batting .394 during an eight-game batting streak with a double, triple, three homers and eight RBIs.
With a double in the third, J.J. Hardy extended his batting streak to 11 games.
Winning pitcher Ivan Nova leads all major league rookies with 14 wins and is 10-0 with an ERA of 3.52 over his past 11 starts.
The Orioles fall to 53-78 and trail 10-3 in the season series with New York.