First things first: I was at tonight's game with my buddy Dave (known to you fine people as daveh873) and it was just a perfect night for a baseball game. I couldn't have asked for better weather, the crowd was large (38,976 in attendance), and I was of course in one of the most beautiful ballparks in the country. To top it all off, it was Buck Showalter bobblehead day. Other than the outcome, tonight's game was actually pretty fun.
If I told you that Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, and J.J. Hardy all homered in tonight's game, would you be pleased? Of course you would. That's awesome! Unfortunately, I'm also going to pass along that in addition to those four Oriole home runs, homers were also hit by Jonny Gomes, Joey Votto, Votto again, Scott Rolen, and Drew Stubbs. Of the fifteen runs scored tonight, fourteen were scored via the home run. It was kind of crazy and despite the fact that most of the homers were by Reds, a neat thing to see in person.
The bad news, in addition to the loss of course, was the performance of Brian Matusz. Matusz is having his troubles, friends. He lasted only 4.2 innings tonight and surrendered six runs on nine hits. The good news is that he only walked one batter while striking out five, but his velocity is still problematic. His fastballs were primarily 88-89 mph, but he threw a few at 87, so he's definitely having his troubles. They're so bad, in fact, that Roch Kubatko is speculating that he could be demoted or placed back on the disabled list as early as tomorrow (although Showalter said in his press conference that the plan is that Matusz will get another start).
The good news for tomorrow is that the the O's only used three pitchers tonight. Brad Bergesen logged three innings, giving up three runs, and Mike Gonzalez pitched one scoreless. The good relievers will be rested and ready to go tomorrow as the Orioles attempt to win the series.
Fun fact! J.J. Hardy's home run tonight was his tenth as an Oriole, coming in his 201st plate appearance. That is the same number of home runs hit by Orioles shortstops from 2008-2010. They hit three in 2008, four in 2009, and three in 2010.