Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com
I can’t imagine a player having a better big-league debut that Steven Matz had on Sunday with the Mets.
He threw 110 pitches, struck out six, walked three batters, let up just two runs and five hits, and was pulled with two outs in the eighth inning. He also had three hits, including a double and four RBI. He even executed a hit and run in the fifth inning.
I wonder if he can play shortstop and bat third on Tuesday? It’s his throw day, so maybe he can also come in for relief, then go back to short? I’m kidding, but seriously, it was an amazing day for him and his family, who were the definition of pride and joy cheering for him in the stands.
He hit 96 mph with his fastball, his curve ball was nasty and he controlled the game with a nice pace. I actually think the home run by Brandon Phillips to start the game may have been a blessing, since it seemed to wake him up and make him refocus a bit. He looked free and easy, especially after the first inning. He also is serious as a hitter. I don’t know if he’ll always be a .300 hitter, but I think he’s capable of it because it’s clearly an important element of the game for him. He hits right-handed, despite being a lefty, so I’m glad he wears the arm guard. He gets his hands in to a good position to hit and he’s got a level swing, which is rare for a pitcher.
I’m happy for him. He’s a nice kid, he has a terrific family, he’s one of us, and I’m excited to have him on the team…
Here’s what others had to say about Steven’s impressive debut…
Reds 3B Todd Frazier, via the NY Post: “Overall, he threw a really good game, hitting his spots and – when he wasn’t – we were chasing. I’d like to face him in Cincinnati, see how we fare then, too. … The more he pitches, the more he works with his catcher, he’s going to be a really good pitcher. … If he keeps hitting the ball like that, he’ll be in the Hall of Fame.”
Ron Matz, Steven’s Dad, via the NY Post: “I’m still trying to come down off the clouds. I can’t even describe it. I’m exhausted even cheering him on.”
Reds 2B Brandon Phillips, via ESPN: “I think they have a great rotation. They have a lot of great guys over there and they pitched very well against us and you tip your hat when it’s due.”
Andrew Vazzano, SNY.TV: You could not have asked for much more out of Matz — on the bump and at the plate. It was quite obvious he was very nervous to start the game, badly missing on his first few pitches, then grooving one to Brandon Phillips, but he settled in and showed the maturity that everyone talks about in relation to the young lefty.
Frazier took him deep later in the game for his second solo home run surrendered, but outside of those two blasts, no one hit the ball particularly well against him. He was simply fantastic in start No. 1 — and hopefully it’s just the start of a brilliant career for the Long Island native.
Mets rookie Steven Matz threw 110 pitches, struck out six, walked three batters, let up just two runs on five hits, and had his day ended with two outs in the eighth inning.
Matz also had three hits, including a double and four RBI. He even executed a hit and run in the fifth inning.
“We needed a big hit and I didn’t care where it came from,” manager Terry Collins said of Matz’s RBI double. “That hit lifted everyone in the dugout and got us on track.”
According to ESPN Stats & Info., Matz is the first player on the Mets with four RBI in his MLB debut, the first MLB pitcher since 1914 to have four RBI in his MLB debut and he’s the first Mets pitcher to have four RBIs in a game since Dwight Gooden in 1990.
“Dan Warthen and I had this date penned in for a while,” Collins said about Matz’s debut. “Certainly, Sandy was all on board with it. So when the time came, we didn’t care whether it was at home or not, we thought – due to what he was doing in the minor leagues – it was time to get him up here.”
Matz was 7-4 with a 2.19 ERA in 14 starts, while batting .304, with Triple-A Las Vegas before he was promoted. He entered the game considered the team’s top prospect and the seventh-best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com.
“He’s as advertised. He was really impressive,” Collins said. “He wasn’t intimidated by anything. He was ready for this.”
Matz, who was born and raised on Long Island, left to a standing ovation from the Citi Field crowd.
“I could definitely hear it,” Matz said of the crowd. “I was just going out there not trying to change much, just trying to win a game.”
The Mets swept the Reds over the weekend at Citi Field, pulling themselves back up above .500 at 40-37.
Steven Matz allowed two runs in 7 2/3 innings in his big league debut Sunday, while going 3-for-3 with four RBI.
Daniel Murphy continued his rehab assignment with High-A St. Lucie on Sunday and is expected to be activated from the disabled list prior to Tuesday’s game.
Wilmer Flores started at second base on Sunday and will remain there when Murphy returns, Terry Collins said.
The Mets sent Jack Leathersich to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Matz on the roster.
In addition to the Cubs, the Dodgers are interested in trading for Jon Niese, Ken Rosenthal reported.
David Wright has made progress in his return from spinal stenosis, but has yet to transition to baseball activities, Sandy Alderson said.
What’s on tap for Monday, June 29
The Mets are off on Monday.
They open a three-game series against the Cubs at Citi Field on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. on SNY.
Jon Niese gets the start for the Mets. He’ll be opposed by Kyle Hendricks for Chicago.
For every Mets home run hit at Citi Field® this season, Citi will show their appreciation to an NYC community partner with a $2,000 donation. Visit mets.com/citi to see this season’s grand total to date.
Mets pitcher Steven Matz hits a two-run double in his first Major League at-bat to give New York a 2-1 lead over Cincinnati in the bottom of the second inning. >> Watch here
Steven Matz singles in the bottom of the fifth inning for his second hit of the game on Sunday at Citi Field. >> Watch here
Matz hits a two-run single in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 7-2 victory over the Reds. >> Watch here
To read post-game reports from the team’s beat writers, check out MLB.com, Daily News, New York Post, New York Times, Bergen Record, ESPN, Newsday and NJ.com.
The Mets sent LHP Jack Leathersich to Triple-A Las Vegas after Sunday’s game vs. the Reds.
New York did not need to make a roster move for Steven Matz before Sunday because Saturday’s game was suspended and continued Sunday afternoon, allowing both the Reds and Mets to play with 26 active players.
After the game, however, the Mets needed to cut the roster down to 25 to make room for Matz.
Leathersich has a 2.31 ERA in 17 appearances out of the bullpen this season, allowing three runs in 11 2/3 innings.
The Mets will need to make another roster move when they activate Daniel Murphy, who is set to return from the disabled list on Tuesday (June 28, 6:04 p.m.).
Steven Matz pitched 7 2/3 solid innings and drove in four runs in his MLB debut, leading the Mets to a 7-2 win over the Reds Sunday at Citi Field.
Matz (1-0) gave up two runs on five hits and struck out six on 110 pitches, walking off the field to a standing ovation as Terry Collins pulled him in the eighth, but his performance at the plate may have outdone his pitching.
He went 3 for 3 with four RBIs, a feat no other pitcher has ever done in his MLB debut in the last 100 years. In fact, no Mets player had ever hit four RBIs in his MLB debut.
After giving up a home run to his first-ever hitter, Brandon Phillips, Matz settled down. He induced two double plays and threw three 1-2-3 innings, helping the Mets (40-37) win their fourth straight.
In the second, Reds starter Josh Smith (0-1) intentionally walked Eric Campbell to bring up Matz with two runners on. Matz hit an 0-1 pitch for a two-run double to center, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead.
He wasn’t done.
With the score tied at 2, he executed a perfect hit-and-run single in the fifth to move Campbell to third and set up Curtis Granderson’s go-ahead double.
Matz singled home two runs with the bases loaded in the sixth to make it 5-2.
Smith gave up three runs (one earned) in five innings for the Reds (34-40).
Granderson, who went 2 for 5, added an RBI single in the eighth.
Todd Frazier hit a solo home run in the fourth to tie the game at 2.
The Mets are off Monday and begin a three-game series vs. the Cubs on Tuesday.
Jon Niese (3-7, 4.12 ERA) will face Kyle Hendricks (2-4, 4.46 ERA) at 7:10 p.m.
Gary Cohen and Ron Darling break down the Mets’ sweep of the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field in the latest edition of W.B. Mason Post Game Extra.
Sunday’s minor league recaps…
Mets RHP prospect Luis Cessa tossed seven shutout innings Sunday in the B-Mets 3-1 win in Akron. The 23-year-old gave up six hits, with six strikeouts and one walk. It was the fifth time in his last six starts he’s allowed one earned run or no runs >>Read more at SNY’s Mets Minors