Clay Buchholz has pitched three complete-game shutouts in his career, including tonight. All three have been against the Orioles.
In the battle of young pitchers two played well and looked like the future for their team but then stank it up on the field but who very recently had been pitching better, Clay Buchholz tonight beat Brian Matusz easily. Buchholz pitched a four-hit complete-game shut out, while Matusz lasted two innings plus one batter as he gave up four hits, walked five(!) and gave up five runs.
Matusz was so bad that MLB.com actually used the word "ghastly" in the title of its recap. And while Matusz wasn't helped out by his defense (who made two errors on the night) or by hit team's batters, the story of this game was Matuz's terrible control. It takes a special kind of awful night to throw 67 pitches in two innings.
New-ish Oriole Miguel Gonzalez took over for Matusz in this mess and while he did allow one of the runners he inherited to score along with one of his own, he went on to pitch four good innings. He put up the kind of performance that makes you think, "Yeah, it's 6-0, but it's early in the game. If they don't give up any more there's plenty of time for them to chip away."
Well, they didn't give up much more, but there was no chipping away to be done tonight. Clay Buchholz was in control. He actually allowed baserunners in each of the first five innings, but three times was aided by a double play ball to get out of it. And a few guys reached by HBP and one on an error, but Buchholz didn't walk anyone until the 9th inning when the long lost Nick Johnson pinch hit.
It wasn't a pretty game, that's for sure. But the O's did take the series and now they head home to start interleague play. Maybe three games each against the Phillies and Pirates is just what the doctor ordered.