A Matusz matter

As good as Brian Matusz has been for most of this year, there is one trend when he pitches that needs some improving on his part. With each succeeding plate appearance during the game, opponent batters hit Matusz better according to stats posted at baseball-reference.com That can and does happen to many pitchers, but it is something worth noting about Matusz and Dave Trembley has taken note of it, too. "I think his curveball could get better. He relies on his changeup a lot. If he doesn't locate it, they hit it," Trembley said. "In Oakland you saw two good young left-handers matching up, him and Anderson. Two different guys. Anderson a power left-handed pitcher. Matusz you can't define as a power pitcher. He's a command guy. "What happens to him, which I've seen, is the sixth inning, the third time around, people start jumping on his first pitch. Because they know he's a strike thrower. He's probably going to have to learn to locate the first pitch a little better, you know, stay away from the middle of the plate, that second, third and fourth time around." Opponent hitters vs. Matusz this year: .224 (13 for 58) - first plate appearance. .286 (16 for 56) - second plate appearance. .357 (15 for 42) - third plate appearance. .500 (2 for 4) - fourth plate appearance. You would expect a smart pitcher like Matusz to know that's an adjustment he has to make and if Trembley is aware, certainly they've made Matusz aware of it as well. He has given up 11 extra-base hits on the season and five have come during a batters second plate appearance. Tonight, Matusz tries to rebound from his worst outing of the year, when he allowed six runs and nine hits over 3 2/3 Sunday vs. the Twins as his ERA jumped from 3.93 to 4.91. In his only career start vs. Cleveland, on August 30 of last season, Matusz allowed just one earned run over seven innings. He currently leads all AL rookies in strikeouts (33) and innings (40 1/3) and is third in wins and fifth in ERA.

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