Brian's sad song

Left-hander Brian Matusz takes the mound tonight with only one win since April 18, a stretch of futility that I never would have imagined possible back in spring training.

Maybe an offense that was so clutch last night will support him. And maybe new manager Buck Showalter will stick with him longer.

Matusz hasn't completed the sixth inning in his last four starts. He's surrendered 18 runs and 19 hits, and issued 13 walks, in 13 innings. He's also 0-7 with a 5.55 ERA at home this year.

In his only career start against the Angels, Matusz allowed five runs (four earned) and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings, with three walks and seven strikeouts.

It's time to reverse a couple of trends.

The Orioles will face the Angels' Ervin Santana, who's 3-3 with a 4.81 ERA against them.

Cesar Izturis is 3-for-6 with a double against Santana. Julio Lugo is 7-for-16 with three doubles, one triple and two RBIs. Choose your shortstop.

Don't even think about second base. Brian Roberts is 10-for-27 with one double and two homers.

Nick Markakis is 9-for-24 with four doubles, three homers and 10 RBIs. Luke Scott is 4-for-12 with two doubles and three RBIs. Ty Wigginton is 4-for-11 with a double, homer and three RBIs.

Did anyone stop to wonder how Gary Allenson felt while we were speculating on Juan Samuel's future and whether he'd reclaim his job as third base coach?

What was it like for Allenson as Samuel pondered the decision?

"It wasn't too easy. I didn't know whether I was coming or going until about noon time (Monday)," he told me yesterday.

John Stockstill, the Orioles' director of minor league operations, informed Allenson that he'd stay on the major league coaching staff for the remainder of the season.

"It's not easy when you've got a couple kids who check the stuff online," Allenson said. "I've got a 24 year old and a 20 year old that are kind of concerned about Dad, so it wasn't easy on them, which makes it not easy on me. But it's over now."

Well, not really.

Allenson has no guarantees beyond these last few months, but that's nothing new. He left his position as manager at Triple-A Norfolk, and it might not be waiting for him next year. He might not be included on Showalter's 2011 staff.

What happens to him?

"I've got to wonder about that every year," he said. "I've only had a multi-year contract one time, and that was when I was a player. All you can do is do the best you can, and if that's not good enough, you go somewhere else. But as far as I'm concerned, you can ask some of these players who played for me. It's kind of hard for me to pat myself on the back, but you can ask these kids who played for me, whether it's (Matt) Wieters, (Jake) Arrieta, (Josh) Bell, (Jason) Berken, whoever. They'll tell you about me."

Showalter has known Allenson since 1987, when they both managed in the Yankees' farm system. They roomed together, with Brian Butterfield, for two spring trainings.

Butterfield is a candidate to coach third base next season, the same job he currently holds with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Allenson can only wonder.

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