Steven Matz caught the baseball world by storm during his first major league start on June 28 when he threw 7 2/3 innings and only allowing two runs. This came against the Cincinnati Reds high-powered offense, leaving the New York Mets full of optimism for their prized left-handed pitcher.
Matz followed that act with another gem the following Sunday on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Matz seemed ready to take his spot in the rotation.
While the Mets world was full of excitement for the future of the rotation, little did they know about what was developing behind the scenes. A crushing blow hit the organization when doctors revealed that the young phenom had a partial tear of his lat muscle.
What was originally supposed to be a short stint to the disabled list, turned into an extended stay in the minor leagues.
After a few rocky starts during his rehab process, Matz finally showed his old form by throwing 5 1/3 shutout innings for Double-A Binghamtonon Monday.
He is now healthy and ready to help the Mets make a charge towards postseason. They will have to hold off the pesky Washington Nationals. Terry Collins is still trying to figure where Matz place in the equation is. September will serve as an audition, open tryouts in a way. The pitching staff will have to prove that they deserve to be one of the four players in the postseason rotation.
Matz’s tryout will begin on Sunday when the Mets visit the Miami Marlins. Collins is trying to limit some of the innings for his pitchers, so he decided to skip Noah Syndergaard’s next start, which would have been on Sunday.
Like Matz, Syndergaard is also trying to make the Mets four-man rotation in October. His last start against the Philadelphia Phillies didn’t go as planned, Syndergaard surrendered four earned runs in a little over six innings pitched.
The organization did something similar with Matt Harvey during a weekend series against the Colorado Rockies. Instead, Logan Verrett received the call and threw eight strong frames.
Friday marks the beginning of a crucial 10-game road trip against three NL East opponents. Collins and company will have a better idea where the pitching staff stands after these meaningful contest on the schedule.