March 15, 2012; Lakeland, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz (17) throws in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium. The Tigers defeated the Orioles 4 - 2. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE
A few seasons ago I was about as optimistic about the Orioles as I've been in a long time. I didn't think they'd go to the playoffs or anything crazy like that, but I had some hope in the youngsters, a belief in Matt Wieters, and a little bit of faith in Andy MacPhail. Then the Orioles started the season 2-16 and made me completely miserable and I vowed that they'd never fool me again. No, the Orioles will actually have to play a season in which they don't look like the Bad News Bears before I even think about believing in them again.
Brian Matusz's spring so far makes me think of my optimism two years ago and remember that this is just Spring Training, a magical land where Endy Chavez can hit a home run off of Justin Verlander. It's not a bad thing that Brian Matusz has been pitching well, not at all. It's a good thing. And when I see his stats (since I can't actually watch the games), I am encouraged. But I won't let myself believe that he'll be good in 2012. He's going to have to prove it to me in the regular season.
Now that I've cheered everyone up, let's talk about what a great day Brian Matusz had! His pitching line: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HBP. He threw 60 pitches, 41 for strikes. Four of his strikeouts were swinging. According to reports, his fastball was sitting 92-93, and he hit 94.
This is very good news about Brian Matusz. I really hope that I can spend this season looking forward to watching him pitch, because of all the terribleness in last season, his troubles made me saddest.
Three of the runs scored by the Tigers were charged to Miguel Socolovich, who left the game with a groin injury after loading the bases in the sixth. Someone named Jon Link let all of the runners score. The Tigers' fourth run came courtesy of a triple from Corey Patterson's little brother and a single by Danny Worth, also with Link on the mound. The Admiral Oliver Drake pitched one perfect inning and after the game was optioned to AA.
Offensively there isn't much to say about this game. Endy Chavez had two hits, including the HR off of Verlander mentioned above. Nolan Reimold struck out three times. In the field, Chris Davis made two errors and Chavez threw someone out at second.
Tomorrow the Orioles take on the Twins, another game with no broadcast.