Swept At Home, O’s Lose 9-6

W – Jaime Garcia (7-3)     L – Brian Matusz (1-4)     SV – Fernando Salas (13)

– Matusz got crushed again. He was sitting between 86-88 mph with his fastball again but more importantly he continued to pitch up in the zone. With his fastball velocity down it makes his changeup way less effective since the speed has stayed the same on that pitch (~81 mph). He gave up two more homeruns and was pulled after allowing eight runs on nine hits and a walk with two strikeouts over 3.1 innings. He was sent down to AAA Norfolk after the game. I never imagined it would could to that but I think its the right move.
– Alfredo Simon put together 2.2 innings, allowing a solo homerun. He struck out two batters. Mike Gonzalez managed to put together two scoreless innings and Jim Johnson pitched a scoreless 9th. The bullpen has quietly been pitching pretty well for a while now. Its easy to miss when the starters are pitching so horribly.
– The offense managed to put up six runs on 15 hits but it was too little too late thanks to the early hole they found themselves in. Nolan Reimold hit a three run homer while getting a rare start in left field. He really needs to get in the lineup more, even if its against a right handed pitcher. He also beat out an infield single that allowed a run to score. Mark Reynolds also hit a homerun, a two run shot in the bottom of the 6th. It was his 15th of the season to lead all third basemen. He also singled.
– Robert Andino had three singles. Matt Wieters, Derrek Lee, and Nick Markakis each had two. Wieters also walked. Vladimir Guerrero and JJ Hardy also singled. Speaking of Vlad, I think its beyond time to take him out of the cleanup spot in the lineup. Hes basically a singles hitter now. I would use other players in the DH spot more often and when hes in there I’d be hitting him 7th or 8th. With how well Reynolds has been hitting, he should be moved up. Either him, Wieters, or Adam Jones make the most sense to bat fourth.

Player of the game: Nolan Reimold – 2-4, R, 4 RBI, HR (4) (.280 AVG)

Time for another long road trip before the all-star break. First up is Atlanta in the last interleague series of the season. Jeremy Guthrie (3-9, 3.93) starts game one against Jair Jurrjens (10-3, 2.07) who has been excellent this season.

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