Off target at the Yard (updated with Matusz’s line)

I feel for Brian Matusz, who walked three in the third inning tonight leading to a five-run inning by the Angels. They are a team that will take a crack and turn it into a three-foot hole.

Matusz opened the door big time when he walked three of four hitters. That stat sheet won’t show the close pitches to Bobby Abreu that were not called strikes although they sure looked like they were.

I guess at Double-A ball, similar pitches would have resulted in an out. But Major League hitters take close pitches, some like Abreu have a reputation that will usually go their way with a rookie on the mound.

Matusz came out tonight and looked like he had great stuff in the first two innings. But a couple of close pitches exploded into a five-run inning.

That probably would not have happened vs. Akron or New Britain.

Still, he’ll learn more here, and become a better pitcher here, giving up five like that to the Angels, then blowing away Akron or any other Eastern League team.

Matusz left the game in the sixth inning.

His line tonight: 5 2/3IP, 11H, 5R, 4ER, 3B, 7K.......98 pitches, 65 strikes.

He gave up 11 hits but several of the bloop, dink and dunk variety. All three walks came during the five-run inning. He set season highs tonight for innings, hits allowed and strikeouts. His ERA is now 6.75 through three starts.

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