Matusz: What a way to go out
Don't know for sure whether the Orioles will give rookie Brian Matusz another start, but I'm guessing he just completed his first professional season on a very high note. That's what Orioles officials were looking for when he took the mound today, and he just gave up four hits over seven innings and finished strong by striking out Derek Jeter with his 106th pitch.
Jeter's expression after that strikeout said it all. He stood at home plate taking off his batting gloves and watching Matusz walk back to the dugout. It was a look that clearly said "I'm impressed." So were the rest of us.
Matusz -- at left in a photo from today's game -- would do well to sit down now and spend the offseason knowing that he can compete with the best in baseball. The last thing he will remember is scoring a resounding victory over the Yankees at the new Yankee Stadium. Can't top that.
He has pitched 157 2/3 innings combined between the minor leagues and the O's rotation. That's more than enough for a first professional season. And, if the Orioles shut Matusz down right now, he'll retain his rookie status for next year.