9:57 p.m. –The Orioles got a huge rookie debut from Brian Matusz tonight. Cesar Izturis flashed leather and even hit a home run as the Birds defeated the Detroit Tigers 8-2 at Comerica Park.
Matusz on his comfort and happiness after the win: “I’d like to enjoy it a little longer. I was a little nervous out there. I can go out there for my next start and be a little more comfortable.”
On his family: “It’s awesome to have that support, My family and friends have been supportive. It’s awesome. I could hear them all after my first pitch.”
On his effort tonight: “It’s important to really attack the zone. I had a couple of walks today. I fell behind in the count. To not nibble so much on the corner and go after the guys. The strike zone is a little smaller. Relax. Have fun. It’s the same game. Enjoy it and hopefully I can carry it over.”
On Izturis: “Izzy was awesome. He made some great plays. Got me out of a jam. It was a lot of fun.”
9:07 p.m. — The Orioles are, for once, piling on a first-place team. It’s 8-1 and even Melvin Mora has taken out some of his frustration with an RBI single. Matusz was sensational, if not a bit brief. The bullpen has made quick work. It looks like they’re gonna win.
What more can you ask for? Oh yeah — a great photo op of Matusz have a post-effort chat in the dugout with Chris Tillman and David Hernandez. Gary Thorne says they’ve been inseparable.
Hopefully, Tillman and Matusz are as effective as Hernandez and Brad Bergesen have been. Then, perhaps, 2010 will be a far more interesting campaign.
8:37 p.m. — Like a good book or a good movie, tonight Brian Matusz left us wanting more. Like Led Zeppelin. LOL! He’s done for the night. His line: 5IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, 3W, 5K…his ERA is 1.80, 99 pitches and is winning pitcher of record.
I can’t argue, although he looked like he was just getting going. But he finishes in double-digit pitches and leaves feeling really, really good about his debut. We ALL feel good about his debut.
Could’ve been better and more dominant. But he certainly didn’t give in when he was in a jam. He was impressive!
Nick Markakis just piled on with a two-run homer. It’s 5-1 Birds. Matusz is in line for a W…
8:34 p.m. — You can’t the kid hasn’t been gritty. He’s had some Tigers tee off on him. He’s gotten some nice defense. He’s battled out of some jams. He’s got moxie! The Birds are still up 3-1
8:28 p.m. — Hard to believe Mike Mussina’s debut was 18 years ago tonight. Just incredible how old I am.
8:23 p.m. — All hail Cesar Izturis. He’s having a career night. Two amazing defensive plays. And now, the unlikely home run.
God, these MASN commercials are painful! I haven’t live blogged in a few weeks and it seems that every time I do it’s unavoidable to not point out how bad the broadcasts are. How “homerish” it’s gotten. And how defensive the announcers are in regard to criticism of a last-place team on a 4-13 run after the All Star break.
I’m not looking for “funereal” — but how about just having some balance and integrity for what truly is: A LAST PLACE team. As Peter Schmuck might say: “Don’t pee orange on my cap and tell me it’s raining.”
Matusz has fought nicely. He finally gave up a run in the fourth. They’re playing hasty baseball at Comerica Park tonight.
The Birds are up 3-1. All Hail Cesar!
8:05 p.m. — It’s an exciting night to be an Orioles fan. The future isn’t just “coming” any more. From all indications, it’s here.
Matusz went 1-2-3 in the first. He struggled and battled in the the second inning and got an amazing play from Cesar Izturis, who followed it up with another web gem in the third.
We’re hanging on every pitch. We’re impressed by that slingshot lefthanded delivery. And we’re hearing Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez salivate with each pitch. Martinez seems particularly zoned in on pitch selection, which is good for a former big league manager and catcher. (And this makes it all the more embarrassing when he protects the organization and makes excuses for their last place standing in the AL East. He’s a great baseball man, even if he is from out of town. He doesn’t need to be a shill.)
Well, Matusz is through three innings. The Orioles have staked him out to a a 2-0 lead on a nice offensive output in the first inning with a big hit from Matt Wieters.
Matusz has rosy red cheeks. (Like I said, a lot of weird observations when you’re seeing the kid for the first time.)
I love baseball when it feels like it matters. Tonight, somehow like Wieters debut against Detroit in May, feels like an “ascension” for the organization. For the first time in a long, frustrating summer, we get the “final piece” added to the big league roster.
I’ll be checking in to write and approve posts all night…