It has been a struggle for the Orioles the past two weeks; however, they were able to get rolling early. Brian Matusz along with the bullpen helped them defeat the Oakland Athletics, 4-2.
Baltimore got a solid win in their first contest of a three-game set Oakland – a team that has all but owned them. They touched tough, young starter for the Athletics, Gio Gonzalez for four runs, scoring once in the first inning and three more in the second.
Brian Matusz in his outing, went 5 1/3 innings, and gave up two runs – all earned. That came off an Adam Rosales homer in the fourth inning.
He had three strikeouts and seven hits given on the night. According to various accounts from the media, his velocity was reported to be down – from the low 90’s according to the Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec to a touch below that. However, he was still effective and perhaps his decreased velocity might be due to his time off with an injury.
Hopefully, it comes back. If it does not, Matusz will need to locate his pitches effectively and realize that the margin for error may become razor thin. I do not see that much reason to worry unless he starts getting shelled on a regular basis.
Finally, the Orioles picked pitcher Dylan Bundy as their first pick (at number four) in the 2011 MLB First Year Player Draft. From all accounts, Bundy – who also has an older brother in the Baltimore farm system – is a solid pick out of high school and projects to be one heck of a hurler if all goes well. He has still got to be signed and all that jazz.
We all know the story of Matt Hobgood, who many are calling a bust, despite still being relatively young. The entire draft system isn’t a sure thing, and it’s hard to say what player makes it – and who doesn’t. Only time will tell.
They will be more picks today in the draft (rounds 2-30), and possibly the Orioles will find a gem or two, or three there.
Of course, patience does not mean much to a fan base that has seen their team lose endlessly since the late 1990’s.