Brian Matusz is not a fan of the baseball scheduler makers. Or, maybe he is. He’s gotten the call to face the Tampa Bay Rays twice, and his combined line to date is:
12.3 IP, 15 SO, 6 BB, 0 HR
That works out to something like a 2.22 FIP despite facing one of the better offenses in baseball, one that loads their lineup with batters who have made a living hitting left-handed pitching. Matusz’ ERA won’t look quite that good since his bullpen allowed a few leftover runners to score last night. Also worth noting is that five of those walks came in his first start. In that sense, I suppose this has been a continuation of Matusz’ brief 2009 introduction to the majors. He threw in 44 innings, striking out nearly 8 per nine, walking fewer than three, en route to a 4.08 FIP, but with a 4.63 ERA.
The only thing that one can find fault with about Matusz’ game is his batted ball-profile. In his first start, he allowed five fly balls and three liners while failing to get a grounder. Last night, he did get a grounder – four of them actually – but, between both games, allowed 15 fly balls and liners to be put in play as well. Unlike his first start, which he exited after five innings and 97 pitches, Matusz didn’t lose command of the strike zone for the entire stretch.
Obviously, it’s only two starts. But it’s two good starts from a supposedly good prospect against a supposedly good division foe. He’s going to take some knocks eventually. Until then, though, Baltimore fans may continue to gaze upon Matusz with a sense of anticipation and excitement.