Brian Matusz’s back injury puts Opening Day status in doubt

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Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz has been diagnosed with a serratus strain–which is basically a lower back injury–and manager Buck Showalter told reporters that the reliever would be headed to the disabled list if this were the regular season.

Luckily for Matusz the regular season doesn’t begin for a month, although clearly his status for Opening Day is very much in doubt.

After struggling as a starter early in his career Matusz has been a key contributor to the Orioles’ bullpen since making the full-time switch to relief work in 2013, logging 152 innings with a 3.32 ERA and 159/53 K/BB ratio. Eligible for free agency after this season and making $3.9 million, the former No. 4 overall pick had been slated for a middle relief role.

George Springer sets record with homer in fifth consecutive World Series game

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Astros outfielder George Springer has set another postseason home run record. He swatted a solo home run off of Nationals reliever Tanner Rainey to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, reducing the Nationals’ lead to 5-3. It marked his fifth consecutive World Series game with a home run, breaking a tie with Reggie Jackson and Lou Gehrig to set a new record, per MLB.com’s Sarah Langs.

Springer homered in Games 4 through 7 in the 2017 World Series against the Dodgers. The Astros, of course, ultimately won the series to earn the franchise’s first championship.

Springer hadn’t had the best showing in the 2019 playoffs, as he entered Tuesday’s action batting .152/.235/.283 across 51 plate appearances.