New York Mets News

Mets: Steven Matz rebounds in second start of 2018 season

By Richard Heaton
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 01: Steven Matz
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 01: Steven Matz /
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By the time Saturday’s game began, Steven Matz had accounted for the only New York Mets pitching blemish this season. During his start against the Washington Nationals, he quickly turned things around.

Like most New York Mets pitchers early this season, Steven Matz was a victim of the strikeout bug. In his first start of the season against the St. Louis Cardinals, he lasted only four innings and threw four strikeouts. This time around, he matched that total and then some by the end of the second inning in a strong outing versus the Washington Nationals.

In the first inning, he gave up a lead-off single to Trea Turner and retired the next five batters he faced by strikeout. After the second inning, Matz needed just 22 pitches to get through the next two innings, without allowing a base-runner.

In the fifth inning, an error, a stolen base, and a bloop single scored the Nationals first run of the game. For the final out of the inning, he struck out former Met Matt Reynolds, for his eighth strikeout of the game. It’s been more than ten starts since the last time Matz struck out at least ten in a game.

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At this point, Matz was removed having given up just one unearned run. Hansel Robles entered for the sixth inning with the score tied at one.

Bryce Harper led off the inning with a home run to break the tie, which was the first run given up by the Mets bullpen since Matz’ last start on April 1st.  Robles gave up just one other hit in the inning and struck out one. Through three innings this season, Robles has seven strikeouts.

In the seventh inning, A.J. Ramos came in with a 3-2 lead. He needed 11 pitches to retire the side.

The eighth inning was a montage of pitching changes. Jacob Rhame came in to get Matt Reynolds out and then was replaced by Jerry Blevins.

Blevins walked Harper before Jeurys Familia replace him. This time around, Nationals hitters were no match for Familia. He retired all five he faced, including one by strikeout to earn his fourth save of the season.

The Mets racked up ten strikeouts in this game, the sixth time in seven games they have accomplished that. The win went to Robles, who is 5-1 in April outings.

FINAL LINE

Steven Matz: 5IP, 3H, 2BB, 1R, 0ER, 8K

Hansel Robles: 1IP, 2H, 0BB, 1ER, 1K, W

A.J. Ramos: 1IP, 0H, 0BB, 0ER, 0K

Jacob Rhame: 0.1IP, 0H 0BB, 0ER, 0K

Jerry Blevins: 0.0IP, 0H, 1BB, 0ER, 0K

Jeurys Familia: 1.2IP, 0H, 0BB, 0ER, 1K, SV

Next: New York Mets: Tim Tebow is great for baseball in many ways

Next up, the Mets hope to finish the sweep of the Nationals Sunday night with Matt Harvey looking for his first win of the season.

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