'Guess Who's Back?'
Rookie starting pitcher and native Long Islander rejoined the Mets rotation Sunday tossing 5 1/3 innings surrendering four hits, two earned runs and recording six strikeouts in the Amazin's 4-3 loss to the Miami Marlins. Matz's threw his first start since July 5, after suffering a strained lat muscle. Matz made four rehab starts while working his way back to the majors. In his last start with the Mets he threw a scoreless six innings in only his second career start.
“I got my rehab starts in and feel like I progressed enough to where I need to be," Matz said. "I'm just ready to go." Manager Terry Collins is also excited to see the young left-hander back in the starting rotation. "He went back down and obviously his last couple rehab outings were very, very good. So we're just hoping he's got 90, 92 pitches in him that are as good as we saw before. Again, we'll just have to wait and see." Matz is 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA over his first two starts with the Mets.
Matz start on Sunday allowed the Mets to skip Noah Syndergaard’s start, which will help limit their young pitcher’s workload. They will also likely adopt a six-man rotation to balance out the entire rotations innings pitched. This is very good news in the wake of Matt Harvey and his agent, Scott Boras, suggesting they will limit Harvey’s innings pitched and possibly shut him down at 180 innings.
The team has also changed dramatically since he was last with the team Trade line additions have turned the Mets offense around. “There’s a lot of new faces in here, so it’s really cool,” said Matz, “They are playing real well, and the fans are really into it, so it’s really exciting to just kind of step into it.”
The Mets have a five game lead over the Washington Nationals in the NL east and will travel to Washington tomorrow for a three game series. Recently Matz coming back would have been a luxury however with the news of Matt Harvey possible hard cap and rumors of a similar innings cap on Bartolo Colon, his start becomes much more crucial to the Mets’ future and possibility of making a run deep into the playoffs. Although Colon looked as good as he has also season, shutting out the Marlins last night. Matz definitely has the talent to pitch in big pressure games but he will have to prove he’s back to his pre injury self today.