New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz pitched spectacularly in his MLB debut Sunday.
Matz is one of many young pitchers that the Mets have on their big league roster and Matz is as good as any of them. Not only was he a feared pitcher on Sunday, but he was the most revered batter in the lineup as well.
In a 7-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, Matz allowed just five hits in 7 2/3 innings before being replaced by Carlos Torres due to a high pitch count for Matz.
Steven Matz allowed only two runs in his debut, both coming on solo home runs, one being the first batter of the game, Brandon Phillips. Some young pitchers would have lost confidence after giving up a home run in the first batter they faced in the majors, but Matz showed nothing of the sort. He only made one more mistake in the rest of the game.
Matz’s pitching was stellar, but what really made him stand out was his performance in the batters box. Matz went 3-for-3 for four RBI. Matz contributed more runs than the rest of his team combined in this outing.
The 2009 second round draft pick has come a long way to make it to the big leagues. Before throwing his first pitch as a professional baseball player, Matz began feeling discomfort in his pitching elbow (left). He found out that he had a torn UCL and before he could continue to pitch he needed to receive Tommy John surgery, very common in pitchers.
Matz’ recovery in 2010 was not smooth at all. He dealt with so many issues in 2011 that he had to be shut down once again. In 2012, after two frustrating years in the Mets’ farm system, doctors told Matz that they were not sure if the implanted ligament in his elbow had healed, so all he could do was go out and throw as hard as he could.
“Either it was going to snap and I would have to have surgery again,” Matz said, “or it would clear the scar tissue.”
Once Matz was finally healthy, he made his way through the minors with ease, jumping from a full season of rookie ball in 2012 to dominating the Pacific Coast League this season.
Matz was 7-4 with a 2.19 ERA, 94 strikeouts and allowing six home runs in 90.1 innings work this season, leading to his call-up.
The New York Mets are filled with young talent on the mound, and Steven Matz is just one more player on that long list. Expect to be seeing him in the majors for many years to come.
[Image Source: Carlos Osorio/Associated Press]