After missing two months on the disabled list, the rookie and Long Island native might have had his best outing since returning to the team. Although he received a no decision in last night's 6-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds, Matz seemed to have his command back to pre-injury form. He ended the night giving up three earned runs over five and 2/3 innings. It was a big step forward in the young lefty's season, as he has somewhat struggle to control his pitches since coming off the disabled list.
"He was good," Manager Terry Collins said after the win.
"The arm action on his curveball was much better, much faster. He threw some pretty good sliders. This is just me, but he has an outstanding changeup and I would like to see him throw it a little more, thought he threw the ball very well tonight." He added "It looks like he is getting back to where he was when I first saw him. It was his best stuff we saw since he came off the DL.”
Matz struck out 8 in just over five innings of work. "Today was the best fastball command I have had and that is really what I work off of,” said Matz. “Everything is getting there. My curveball is still a little up in the zone, everything else feels on.”
Matz working his way back to pre-injury form could not come at a better time for the Mets. Harvey, largely due to the media and his agents, is required to limit his innings and sometimes skip starts. There is even rumors that if he pitched in the playoffs he would only be allowed to pitch 5 innings before turning it over to the bullpen, which has been anything but reliable this season. deGrom is also under some scrutiny after showing signs of fatigue in his last few outings. The Mets also have skipped his past start in hopes to prepare him for the playoffs.
Matz right now has a 2.27 ERA after last night's game. With him slowly returning to pre-injury form he is building a strong case o be able to pitch in the playoffs if not start. However before he can get the playoff nod he will have to show he can limit hits and have constant control. Matz gave up 10 hits last night in his outing which might be enough in the playoffs against a better team.