Orioles demote Matusz to Norfolk following sweep at the hands of the Cardinals

June 30, 2011 | Peter Dilutis

BALTIMORE – Brian Matusz spotted the St. Louis Cardinals eight runs on Thursday night as the Cardinals defeated the Orioles 9-6 to complete their three game sweep in front of 28,340 fans at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Matusz was brutal once again for the Birds. He surrendered eight earned runs in just 3.1 innings of work in a performance that earned him a demotion to Norfolk following the game. Matusz hopes to regain some strength and muscle in Norfolk which he believes will help him get back the velocity that he clearly has been lacking.

“For me I need to continue working on my strength and conditioning, keep getting stronger,” Matusz said. “I’m working with Brady Anderson, putting weight back on and getting my conditioning in line.”

Matusz seemed resigned to the fact that he simply was not getting it done at the major league level.

“It’s going to be tough, but I’m not getting it done up here,” Matusz said. “It’s not fair for the team for me to go out there and make starts like this. This is motivation for me to go down there, work with Mike Griffin, and get myself back to regular form.”

A common belief among Orioles’ fans is that Matusz is not totally healthy. However, when asked about his health, Matusz did not hesitate in declaring himself injury free.

“Physically I’m 100 percent healthy,” Matusz said. “I feel really good. I’ve been working real hard with Brady, working on my strength and conditioning. I feel like I’m in a lot better shape, but I need to put on some weight.”

Buck Showalter was asked whether he was sure that Matusz wasn’t pitching through an injury.

“Of course not,” Showalter said. “Nobody ever is. You never know that for sure. You can only base it on what he and the trainers say. What else do you have to base it on other than what they tell you? The arm swing is good, he throws some crisp breaking balls now and then, but he’s just not able to carry things. I understand that’s what you usually look at. Believe me, I’ve had pitchers who two or three days from now talk about something else. I’m not going to sit here and smugly say it’s definitely not. I can only go by what he tells me and what everybody else says. I’m not going to sit here and just say blindly it isn’t, but all indications are that it isn’t, and that’s what’s a challenge because we all want to know why. I’m right there with you.”