Physically, he’s now in AAA Norfolk. But that’s not what I meant by that at all.
I am currently in a hotel room in Vermont. I was trying to enjoy some nice time away from everything, but it’s almost one in the morning and I’m laying here awake wondering about Matusz. I suppose that means you get to read this.
I checked Twitter at the beginning of the game. When I saw there that Matusz’s first three pitches reached the plate in the mid-eighties, I became pretty nervous. Matusz at his best usually sits in the low to mid-nineties with his four-seamer. I knew then that my suspicions about him were correct: something was still wrong. I also knew this was likely his last chance before being shipped down to Norfolk, so my heart sank.
I’m not sure that time in AAA Norfolk is what Matusz needs right now. I believe that this is a much more serious issue. Whether it’s psychological or physical, Matusz needs help, and nobody’s giving it to him (either that or he’s being a stubborn kid and refusing it, which could certainly be the case as well). At any rate, Matusz should at least receive a medical checkup before he pitches again, because there has to be something nagging him still, whether it’s in his body or his head.
It hurts to have my favorite player on the team perform like this. I’ve been there before, and I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to go there again with Matusz. And yet here I am, laying awake in a hotel room on the coast of Lake Champlain worrying about a pitcher I believe in wholeheartedly.
I also believe that this is no sophomore slump. Matusz isn’t in a bad patch right now. There’s something far greater at play here. I want the real Brian Matusz back. The rest of the fanbase wants him back. The rest of the team wants him back. It all depends on whether or not Matusz has the mental strength and determination to bring him back for all of us. I hope he does.
I believe. I just really want to see if Matusz does too.