The story yesterday was that it was a good thing the game didn't count. Today, though the Orioles won, it's probably still a good thing the game didn't count. That I have to write that about a game where every Oriole in the starting lineup had scored a run before the end of the second inning is a serious dark mark against someone - multiple someones, in fact.
Brian Matusz entered the game looking to keep his name in the competition for the fifth starter spot. So close to that rotation, Brian, no matter how far. And yet you couldn't be much more destined for Norfolk. Forever trust in your ability to give up home runs to right-handed batters.
I never believed Matusz was anywhere closer than the fringes of the discussion. Today he showed why, with an outing in which he surrendered five runs over only four innings - nine hits, including a monster home run by Andrew McCutchen. To his credit, he offered no excuses for his poor performance other than that he did not pitch well. Reporters indicated the velocity on his fastball was 88-91, which is not great, and he was unable to get the ball down.
On WBAL, Fred and Joe both seemed to think the fifth starter spot belongs to Jake Arrieta, and when you make an 8-0 game interesting, you sure don't strongly state your case to be in the rotation, whether or not you'd be a second lefty.
It's spring training and it doesn't matter, but it seems that Orioles Magic is not dead. Despite the fact that some of the Orioles bullpen - particularly, Troy Patton, who coughed up a 10-5 lead in the 6th - was terrible today, every day for us there's someone new delivering key hits. Life is the O's and they live it their way. Sometimes that way is Steve Pearce with tie-breaking home runs. It wasn't quite the flair of Adam Jones on Cal Ripken Statue Night, mostly because it was spring training, against the Pirates, and Pearce batted with two outs, but he still pulled off the "stake the O's to a lead with a home run after a bullpen meltdown."
Should we worry about Patton after this outing? Probably not. Maybe it was just a bad day. Patton, of course, was left off entirely of the BBTN 500, which I have been writing about over the last few days. I never much cared for what they say and never cared for what they know, either.
The one-time Invisible Man - so dubbed on Camden Chat because of the strange refusal to make use of him in 2011 - is going to do well, or not, independent of anything anyone writes. Bullpen volatility and all that and oh my God please spring training can you end I am going out of my mind I can't take it any more I listened to a four-hour game with a rain delay that was saved by Zech Zinicola is this real I don't even know any more I still hear the flock of seagulls chirping I need real baseball please save me