Long Island product Steven Matz will take the ball for Game 4 of the World Series for the New York Mets on Saturday, trying to even up the series at 2-2 for the Amazin’s.
Coming off a 9-3 drubbing of the Kansas City Royals last night, the Mets will trot out another young pitcher in hopes of evening the series. After Noah Syndergaard’s productive yet controversial start last night, Matz will commute from his parents’ Long Island home on Saturday, not facing too much traffic.
“We’re on off hours, so there’s not much traffic,” Matz told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York on Friday. “It’s not too terrible. It’s been pretty awesome to be able to do that.”
Matz, 24, will be making his third start in the postseason on Saturday evening in Queens, New York. Through his first two postseason outings, Matz has pitched to an 0-1 record with a 3.72 ERA. His last outing came in the series clinching Game 4 versus the Chicago Cubs, a start in which Matz only last four-and-two-thirds innings.
But if Matz cannot give the Mets a lot of distance, the team’s bullpen should be in good shape to provide anywhere from nine-to-12 outs. After Syndergaard was yanked following his six inning, six strikeout, and three earned run start on Friday, the trio of Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard, and Jeurys Familia all pitched one inning of relief each, shutting down the Royals’ offense.
However, Matz may look to electrify Citi Field, a venue that is hosting its first World Series, ever. A young Matz, who grew up a Mets’ fan told Rubin about his favorite Mets players’ growing up, further showing just how young he still is.
“My favorite player was always changing. I loved Johan [Santana]. I loved Mike Piazza. I remember Endy Chavez making that catch in 2006. And then the World Series, obviously, in 2000 — the Subway Series was a lot of fun to watch.”
As for the Royals, they will trot out veteran right-hander and ex-Mets Chris Young. The 36-year-old pitcher picked up the victory in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, pitching three relief innings out of the bullpen in the Royals’ 14-inning win. He did so while coping with the loss of his father in late-September, per Andy McCollough of the Kansas City Star.
“I like to think that he’s here,” Young told Bleacher Report recently in reference to his late-father. “It’s life. He took so much enjoyment watching our team play. He will be in the stadium. It’s just different.”
But the game still has to be played and Young will try to pitch well in memory of his late father, who Bleacher Report claims was, “Chris’ biggest fan, and this summer he loved watching the Royals.”
In the baseball mindset, the Mets believe that they have the advantage heading into Game 4 of the World Series, simply because they already faced Young in the series. Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson believes that facing Young’s 6’10” frame and below-average fastball gives the Mets an edge heading into Game 4.
— Royals (@Royals) October 28, 2015
“I think the good thing for us is he threw a lot in the first game,” Curtis Granderson told Rubin on Friday. “I think everyone got a chance to get at least one at-bat against him.”
Granderson was one of many Mets player to contribute to his team’s Game 3 victory, as he went 2-for-5 with a two-run HR. Also, team captain David Wright broke out of his postseason-long slump, also going 2-for-5 with a two-run HR and a two-run single. Wright, Granderson and the rest of the offense will try to maintain their scoring pace from Friday night.
But one thing to watch is how the Royals respond to Syndergaard throwing at shortstop Alcides Escobar in the first inning last night. The Mansfield, Texas, native admitted to throwing that fastball at Escobar on purpose with the intent of making him uncomfortable.
He also issued a challenge to the Royals, telling Anthony DiComo of MLB, “If they have a problem with me throwing inside, then they can meet me at 60 feet, six inches away.”
Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, who hit the walk-off sac fly to seal the victory in Game 1, teased the Royals having retaliation on their mind in the series.
“Of course we’re going to be upset,” Hosmer told Vahe Gregorian of the Kansas City Star. “We’ll find a way to get back at him.”
We’ll see if any Mets hitters are the subject of retaliation later on tonight. First pitch is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. EST and can be seen on FOX.
[Image by Elsa/Getty Images]