Steven Matz: 2015 NL Champion Mets Long Island Born Pitcher (2015 - 2019)

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 an administrative worker at a Brookhaven high school.

Steven 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 Yastrzemski Award for the best Suffolk County high school player. In 2009, Matz was signed out of Ward Melville High as the Mets second round pick.

The youngsters' career was delayed due to elbow issues & Tommy John surgery. By 2012 he was finally ready to pitch, going 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 big leagues & was brought up in the summer, when the Mets first toyed with the idea of a six-man rotation to save arms.

MLB Debut:
 On June 28th, 2015, Matz made his much-anticipated debut facing the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. Matz 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 2.5 games behind the Washington Nationals.

Not only was Matz to earn his first win going into the 6th inning, allowing two runs on five hits with six strike outs, but 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-run single in the 6th inning. Not a bad debut, a win & four RBIs.

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 shutout innings allowing a pair of hits with eight strike outs.

 Unfortunately, he then suffered a setback ,as he had back issues & missed time until September.

Matz 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.

Matz 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.

2015 NLCS: In the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs Matz 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.

Matz 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.

2015 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 an 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.

After the PennantMatz began 2016 missing his last Spring Training start & awaiting the Mets sixth game of the year before coming on board 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.

Matz 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 got beat up again on the mound, Matz was super, pitching a four hit, eight inning shutout, recording seven strike outs, for his seventh straight win. 

Matz became the first Met pitcher in to win his first six games. Matz was looking great at 7-1 with a 2.36 ERA through May 25th, 2016.

But then it all fell apart, he lost five straight decisions which led into mid-July. In late June it was revealed he & Noah Syndergaard were both pitching with bone spurs in their pitching elbows. 

On July 24th he broke the losing streak with six shutout innings against in South Florida to beat the Marlins. He then lost two more games & earned a no decision. 

On August 14th he made what turned out to be his last start of 2016, earning a win at Citi Field over the San Diego Padres. That day he pitched into the 8th inning with a one hit shutout.

Matz went on the DL with shoulder tightness & in September went for surgery for the bone spurs. He ended 2016 with a 9-8 record, posting a 3.40 ERA in 22 starts. He struck out 129 natters & walked just 31 in 132 innings of work.

2017: Matz started 2017 on the DL once again with elbow issues.  He did not make his first start until June 10th. That day would be arguably one of his best outings all season. In 7 innings he allowed just one run on five hits, striking out two & beating the Atlanta Braves 8-1.

His next two starts weren't as good giving up four runs to the Nat's at Citi Field & then three runs to the Dodgers in L.A. 

On June 28th he earned his second & final win of the dismal 2018 season. He shut out the Marlins for seven innings, striking out four in an 8-0 Mets shut out. 
On June 3rd he did well again, seven scoreless innings & lowering his ERA to 2.12 with a no decision in D.C. against the Nats.

From there on it was a nightmare, Matz would earn six losses in eight games pitched. He tried to pitch through the pain he was suffering with pain & was not effective. He was back on the DL by early August & underwent elbow surgery two weeks later, ending his season. 

He finished up the year at 2-7 with a 6.08 ERA striking out 48 while walking 19 in 66 innings of work in just 13 games.

2018: Matz surgery was successful, he returned to Spring Training in 2018. After a rough start he settled in well enough to make the staff & earn a spot as the #3 starter to begin the season. This year the Mets were headed by former Cleveland pitching coach, Mickey Callaway.

In his first start of 2018 he gave up three runs on three hits taking a loss to the St. Louis Cards at home. On April 13th the Mets bats supported him in a 6-5 where he got his first win of the season. 

By the end of April, he was 1-2 with a 4.98 ERA and fans were getting tired hearing about how good he would one day be.

In May he was a bit better with the exception of a bad day against the Arizona D-backs where he allowed four runs on six hits in just four innings taking no decision, as the Mets won it 5-4. On May 24th he pitched six scoreless innings to get his second win, lowering his ERA to 3.80.

In June he lost his first two starts. On June 16th he allowed just one run, going into the 7th inning, earning a win in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. 

On July 1st, He pitched into the 6th inning, allowing just a run while striking out six in a 5-2 win in South Florida over the Marlins. 

In his next start, the Mets got shut out by the Tampa Rays at Citi Field. Matz took a tough 3-0 loss in where he only gave up one run. Three straight losing decisions followed, including a second of the season to the AL New York club.

After a win at Pittsburgh, he was pounded for a season high seven earned runs, never getting out of the 1st inning in an embarrassing 25-4 Mets loss to the Nationals in the Nation's Capital. After that game he was placed on the DL with a flexor pronator strain in his left forearm.

Matz was limited to just three starts in August, where he was 1-2. In September he continued his inconsistency, going 4-2. In back-to-back starts in mid-September he hit HRs in both games. 

On September 13th his two-run shot helped him in a 4-3 victory over the Marlins. His best start came in his last, as he went six shutout innings, striking out eight walking just one in a 1-0 win over the Marlins, Trevor Richards & six other late inning relievers. 

Matz closed out the year a disappointing 5-11 with a 3.97 ERA striking out 152 & walking 58 in 154 innings over 30 starts. He also allowed 28 stolen bases against him.

At the plate he batted .163 with 2 HRs & 4 RBIs. The Mets also struggled at 77-85 with a fourth-place finish.

2019: In Spring Training 2019 he was 3-2 in five games with a 7.47 ERA. He got the start in the Mets fourth game of the year, pitching into the 6th inning, while earning no decision in a 7-3 win in Miami. 

On April 6th, he struck out eight & did not allow any runs in a 6-5 Mets win, where he got another no decision. 

On April 11th, he did earn his first win, it came in Atlanta beating the Braves while allowing just two earned runs in six innings. His next start was one of the worst in MLB history. Matz allowed eight runs on six hits, a walk & two HRs while never recording an out. It came in a 14-3 Mets loss to the Phillies in Philadelphia.

Matz bounced back with a win in his next start, which came against the Phillies once again. He then earned another win, at home against the Brewers. He finished April 1t 3-1 with a 3.68 ERA.

He made just four starts in May, losing the first two before a win at Los Angeles salvaging the only game the Mets would win in a four-day Memorial Day weekend series. 

Matz troubles continued into June as he lost three of four & fell to a 5-6 record with an ERA just under five. 

On June 14th he hit a HR off Tyler Webb in a loss to the Cardinals at St. Louis. This led to him being put in the bullpen for two games in July. He was back in the rotation after the All-Star break, earning two no decisions in games where he allowed two earned runs each time. 

Finally on July 27th, he got his first win in almost two months.  In his best performance of 2019, he pitched a complete game five hit shutout to beat the Pirates at Citi Field. He struck out seven & walked no one But Matz continued his in consistency & unpredictably. 

In his next start, at Pittsburgh he never got out of the 4th inning. He gave up five runs on six hits in the 8-4 loss, watching his ERA climb to 4.60. 

As the Mets got into playoff contention, Matz earned three wins in four decisions for the rest of August. September was his unusual up & down season, two good outings & two more horrible outings. In back-to-back starts, he gave up 13 earned runs in 15 innings in two mid-September starts.

Matz ended the season at 11-10 with a 4.21 ERA in 32 games (30 starts). He struck out 153 batters & walked 52 in 160 innings pitched, allowing 75 earned runs & 27 HRs. The Mets did not make the playoffs finishing up the season at 86-76 under Mickey Callaway.

At the plate he batted a solid .228 (for a pitcher) with a HR & an RBI. 

2020: In the Covid19 season, he was a miserable 0-5 with a 9.68 ERA in nine games. 

On August 4th he gave up five runs to the Nat's in just three innings. In his next start at Citi, the Nats' got him for 8 earned runs on 8 hits in his third loss. On August 15th, the Phillies beat him up for six runs in just 4.1 innings of work, to gain his fourth loss. 

After a relief appearance, he collected his fifth loss on September 18th. His final two outings were also in relief. 

In January of 2021 the Mets traded Matz to the Toronto Blue Jays for Sean Reid-Foley & a minor leaguer. 

Mets Career: In his six-year Mets career Matz was 31-41 with a 4.35 ERA. He notched 552 strike outs & 180 walks in 579 innings pitched in 112 appearances making 107 starts.

Post Mets Career: In 2021 Steven Matz won 14 games & tied Hyun Jin-Ryu for most wins on the fourth place Blue Jays staff. He went posted a 3.82 ERA striking out 144 batters with 43 walks in 29 starts.

On July 23rd he returned to Citi Field & faced his old Mets team. Matz gave up a 1st inning two run HR to Pete Alonzo, who would hit two HRs in the game. Matz was the losing pitcher in the 3-0 Mets shut out, led by six innings from rookie Tylor Megill.

At the end of the season Matz was granted free agency & signed on with the St. Louis Cardinals. 

2022:  In Matz's first start in St. Louis was one of the worst of his career as he allowed seven runs in three innings to the Pirates in a 9-4 loss. Matz then won his next two games going to 2-1. On April 27th he faced the Mets in St. Louis & gave up four runs while striking out six in a 10-5 loss where he got no decision. 

On May 17th, he earned a win at Citi Field as he beat the Mets 4-3 giving up two runs in five innings striking out seven. The two runs came on HRs to Mark Canha & Eduardo Escobar.

Matz missed almost four months of action that season, finishing up the year at 5-3 with a 5.25 ERA.

In 2023 Matz returned with the Cardinals & started out the year at 0-7 thru mid-June as his struggles continued. But he rebounded to win four straight decisions before being shut down in early August. He finished up at 4-7 with a 3.86 ERA for the last place Cardinals.

In the first month of the 2024 season, Matz went 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA in five starts.

Career Stats: In his ten-year career he is 55-60 with a 4.28 ERA. Matz has 864 strike outs with 274 walks in 907 innings of work in 186 games making 168 starts.

Steven & Taylor (Cain) Matz: In December of 2017 Matz married his long-time girlfriend, Taylor Cain. The two were introduced by Mets infielder T.J. Rivera. His wife Ashton had attended college with Cain at Troy University. Teammates, Jacob deGrom & Brandon Nimmo both attended the wedding.

The Cains:
Matz's wife, Taylor Cain is a singer / guitarist in the Christian County music band - The Cains. The band consists of Taylor Matz along with her sister Madison & brother Logan.

The Cain family grew up in Alabama, their father was a pastor in the local church. They released their first album, "Rise Up" in 2021 winning Christian Music's Best New Artist of the Year Award.

 In 2023 they headlined a 33-city tour of small to medium venues.


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