The Orioles were given quite the scare this afternoon.
According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, Brian Matusz was getting some work in during a simulated game when he was hit in the left biceps by a comebacker. Matusz was able to escape serious injury — in fact, the Orioles aren’t even sending him for X-rays — but he was only able to throw 29 pitches, which casts some doubt on his availability for Saturday against the Rays.
“I’m optimistic. I don’t even think it is going to set me back at all. If anything, I’m upset about not continuing to get my work in. I was starting to feel good. I was starting to get in a good groove. I wanted to get in a little more work. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow and just go from there. That’s pretty much all you can do.”
This has been an eventful spring for the 24-year-old left-hander. He had a wart removed from his left middle finger earlier this month and was knocked out of his final Grapefruit League start last Wednesday after recording just four outs. The furthest he has pitched into a game this spring is just 4 2/3 innings.
Of course, this will all be rendered meaningless when he tosses six shutout innings on Saturday or something. No, I’m not anxious for the season to start or anything.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.
Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.
After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.
Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.
Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.
Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.