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Brian Matusz has a 9.84 ERA and the highest homer rate ever

Sep 6, 2011, 1:45 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

Brian Matusz had the shortest start of his miserable season yesterday, recording just four outs while allowing five runs against the Yankees.

He threw 176 innings with a 4.30 ERA as a 23-year-old rookie last season, but instead of establishing himself atop the Orioles’ rotation Matusz is 1-7 with a 9.84 ERA in 10 starts and spent much of the season in the minors.

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail indicated that yesterday was probably Matusz’s final start of the season, admitting to Brittany Ghiroli of that “I don’t know that he’s doing us any good or we’re doing him any good” by remaining in the rotation to take a beating every five days.

Buck Showalter wouldn’t commit to Matusz’s status either way, but the left-hander has coughed up 48 runs in 43 innings while allowing opponents to hit .364 with a .679 slugging percentage. To put that in some context, consider that Jose Bautista is hitting .306 with a .632 slugging percentage.

As part of his overall struggles Matusz is in historic territory when it comes to serving up homers. He’s surrendered 15 long balls in 43 innings for a rate of 3.1 homers per nine innings, which is the highest homer rate in baseball history among all pitchers with at least 10 starts. If he were to somehow throw 200 innings at that rate it would equal 70 homers.

  1. zakharovsa - Sep 6, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    So is the fact that every interesting Orioles pitching prospect has busted a result of bad talent evaluation or bad handling of developing pitchers? Or just the Curse of the Orioles?

    • JBerardi - Sep 6, 2011 at 8:22 PM

      If the choice is between human incompetence and a magical curse, I’m going with the incompetence every time.

  2. bmoreballers - Sep 6, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Someday the o’s will have the next big 3 in matusz, britton and arrieta…it’s gonna happen

  3. nolanwiffle - Sep 6, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Were you thinking Palmer, Cuellar, McNally or……Mussina, McDonald, Milacki?

  4. bmoreballers - Sep 6, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    I was thinking more along the lines of Ponson, Lopez, Cabrera haha

    • nolanwiffle - Sep 6, 2011 at 2:46 PM

      I think the current rotation is up to the task.

  5. bravesman1983 - Sep 6, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    My J-school training always emphasized concise writing, which includes headlines. With that in mind, I think it would’ve been just as effective to title this story “Brian Matusz Stinks” and be done with it.

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