New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz has been the best to take the mound for the club this year. Has he finally figured it all out?
Just over one-third into the 2019 campaign and it seems that New York Mets lefty Steven Matz has flashed signs of greatness this season. However, there’s still room to grow for the team’s top southpaw.
After battling against superstar Cody Bellinger and the rest of the elite Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday night, Matz and the Mets came away with the win. Matz went six innings, struck out six, allowed two runs on four hits and three walks. He lowered his season ERA to 3.55, and he is 4-3 through 10 starts this season.
Beating the Dodgers shocked most of baseball. Nobody expected the Matz to be able to stop the red-hot lineup. Vegas had the money line -210 for the Dodgers. The key to their success was Matz’s ability to pitch inside against the Dodgers.
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He really tried to work their hitters on the inner-half of the plate, not allowing them to extend their hands. He wanted to jam them as much as possible. However, one major improvement Matz needs to make is limiting his walks.
Instead of throwing in the zone to Dodgers’ platoon player, and lefty killer, David Freese, Matz walked him. He was not throwing trying to let Freese hit it, and it ended up with him on first base. Bellinger came to bat with two out and a runner on first and sent a ball 411 feet to deep right-center field.
The walk to Freese allowed the best hitter in baseball to come to bat and hit his 20thhome run of the season. In that situation, a walk is inexcusable. Luckily, it did not affect the Mets as much as it could have in the end due to home runs by Todd Frazier and Michael Conforto.
Except for his implosion against the Philadelphia Phillies in the Mets’ 14-3 loss on April 16th, Matz has played his best baseball this season. He needs to walk fewer batters, so he can go deeper into games. He only has pitched seven innings once this season.
With Zack Wheeler’s free agency approaching this offseason, the organization needs Matz to continue improving to serve as reliable left-hander every five games. He is expected to be in their rotation for the next few years.
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The now 28-year-old needs to figure it out completely if the Mets want to have any chance to make it to the postseason. Next up, he faces the Arizona Diamondbacks out in the desert.