It wasn't the start that O's fans were hoping for, but as one data point it wasn't terrible. We'll go in-depth on 2012 Matusz once he has accumulated three or four starts, but some quick thoughts for today:
- Overall Matusz's stuff was good, though he was at times inconsistent with his implementation.
- This was among his best showings this year (including Spring Training) with regards to release point. He was highly consistent finding the same slot and release point for his four offerings, which aided in his deception and allowed a 90 mph fastball to miss some good bats.
- The curve and slider were, at times, above-average to plus. His focus moving into start two will be commanding each better to both sides of the plate.
- His change-up wasn't really there for him, though it appeared this was more a result of him not turning it over consistently. As a feel pitch, it's more likely he just didn't have it last night than it is there are long term issues with the offering.
- I counted 9 to 11 pitches that could have easily been called strikes that were not. Pitch fx put the number at 8 no-doubters (significantly in the strikezone) that were not called strikes. This is part of the game, but against a patient and opportunistic line-up like the Yankees, you can bet you are going to run into trouble if it takes you are required to get four or five strikes past a hitter in order to retire him.
Overall, it was a middle-of-the-road start, scouting-wise, and an ugly start from a stat-line perspective. Matusz next matches up against the Jays on Sunday -- we'll hope he maintains the quality of his pitches while improving the placement of his secondaries.