May 28, 2016

2015 NL Champion Mets Long Island Born Pitcher: Steven Matz (2015-2016)

Steven Jakob Matz was born May 29th 1991 in Stony Brook, Long Island. His father is a service manager at a Jeep dealership in West Islip & his mom is a an administrative worker at a Brookhaven high school.

He has a brother & sister, who are all part of a fine family of Mets fans.

The six foot two left hander bats right handed. He did not start receiving pro scouting attention until his junior year of high school.

The next year he was voted Newsday's Long Island Player of the Year & was winner of the Carl Yastremski Award for the best Suffolk County high school player. Matz was signed out of Ward Melville High as the Mets second round pick in 2009.

The youngsters' career was prolonged due to elbow issues & Tommy John surgery. By 2012 he was finally ready & went 2-1 for the Kingsport Mets. In 2013 he was pitching with the Savannah Sand Gnats posting a 2.62 ERA in 21 starts making the All Star team.

In 2013 he was with the St. Lucie Mets making another All Star squad & then was promoted to  AA Binghamton.

By 2015 he was being touted as the 33rd best prospect in the game by Baseball America & Baseball Prospectus. Matz was considered the 2nd best prospect in the Mets system, behind Noah Syndergaard as yet another pitching stud coming through the organization.  

He began the year with the AAA Las Vegas 51s but his progress was so good, he was deemed ready for the bigs & was brought up in the summer, when the Mets first toyed with the idea of a six man rotation to save arms.

Matz made his much anticipated debut on June 28th facing the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. He donned uniform #32, which was once worn by another fine Mets left hander; Jon Matlack.

At the time of his arrival the Mets were in second place 2 1/2 games behind the Washington Nationals.

Not only was he to earn his first win going into the 6th inning, allowing two runs on five hits with six strike outs, he also went 3-3 at the plate with four RBIs. In the home 2nd inning, he doubled in his first career at bat driving in two runs. He would single in the 5th inning & top off his debut with a two rub single in the 6th inning. Not bad debut.

Trivia: The local Long Island boy, quickly had a sandwich named after him at his favorite deli on the Island.

On July 5th, Matz would earn his second win in Los Angeles throwing six shut out innings allowing a pair of hits with eight strike outs. Unfortunately he then suffered a set back ,as he had back issues & missed time until September.

He returned in September and got a no decision  in a Mets loss at Miami to the Marlins. On September 11th, he led the Mets to a 5-1 win pitching five innings.

His next start came at Citi Field in the late season subway series, where he allowed just one run in six innings beating the A.L. New York team 5-1. That bested his record to 4-0, he would earn no decision in Cincinnati in the Mets 6-4 win on September 24th.

He suffered from back issues that had him miss his final start of the season. Matz ended the year at 4-0 with 34 strike outs 10 walks & a 2.27 ERA in 35.2 innings pitched in six games.

Although he only had three months of experience he was being penciled in by Mets Manager Terry Collins to pitch in the NLDS.

2016 Post Season: Matz got the start in Game #4 of the NLDS, a game centerfieldmaz attended. He went up against the L.A. Dodgers Clayton Kershaw who held the Mets offense down to just one run that evening. Matz had a rough 3rd inning where he gave up four hits including an RBI double to Justin Turner & an RBI single to Adria Gonzales. He took the 3-1 loss as the series was evened up at two games each & moved back to Los Angeles for the final game.


2016 NLCS: In the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs he got the Game #4 start at Wrigley Field with the Mets ready to clinch the series on a sweep, up three games to none. He pitched into the 4th inning, allowing just one run on four hits & two walks while striking out four.

He left the game with a 6-1 lead giving way to Bartolo Colon who would earn the victory. Five Mets pitchers would pitch on the night in the 8-3 Mets win.


2016 World Series: The young kid from Long Island found himself starting a World Series game against the Kansas City Royals at home at Citi Field in Queens.

Matz went up against veteran Chris Young with the Mets down two games to one in the series. Matz rolled along into the 5th inning with a two run lead after Michael Conforto's HR & Curtis Granderson's sac fly.

In the 5th he gave up a dn RBI double to Alex Gordon making it 2-1. Conforto added his second HR in the home 5th giving the Mets a 3-1 lead.

Matz was relieved in the 6th inning after giving up a double to Ben Zobrist & a single to Lorenzo Cain. He left with a 3-2 lead and a chance for a World Series victory, but the Mets bullpen was unable to hold the lead & the offense was unable to score anymore runs.

He began 2016 missing his last Spring Training start & awaiting the Mets sixth game of the year before coming on bard with a start. His first start was a disaster allowing seven earned runs in just 1.2 innings of work taking a loss to the Miami Marlins on April 11th.

He rebounded quickly shutting out the Cleveland Indians for seven innings & striking out nine batters, earning his first win. On April 23rd he pitched into the 7th inning striking out eight Braves in Atlanta on his way to his second win of the year.


On April 29th the Mets supplied Matz lots of offense with 13 runs, but he pitched seven scoreless innings on his way to his third victory. On May 4th in a cold rainy matinee at Citi Field, centerfieldmaz was in attendance as the Mets hit four HRs & Matz shut out the Atlanta Braves for 7.2 innings with an 8 strike out performance. 

Matz then won games in Los Angeles & at home against the Milwaukee Brewers to get his record to 6-1. On May 25th he went out & helped the Mets take the rubber game in an important series with the Washington Nationals. On the day after Matt Harvey was beat up (again) on the mound, Matz shut everyone up & shut everyone out, pitching a four hit, eight inning shut out, recording seven strike outs, for his seventh straight win. He became the first Met pitched in ten years (2006) since Steve Traschel won his first six games. Matz is 7-1 with a 2.36 ERA through May 25th 2016.

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