Former Mets pitcher Steven Matz has as many wins as his ex-team
By Tim Boyle
Two starts into the 2021 season and former New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz is a perfect 2-0. Now with the Toronto Blue Jays, the local kid who knew nothing but the Mets franchise seems to be on the right path with baseball’s most popular nomad team.
Meanwhile, the Mets are 2-3 after five games; tied in victories with Matz. The circumstances with this ball club are strange following a canceled three-game series to begin the year due to COVID and a Sunday suspended game due to rain.
The Blue Jays have been luckier at getting games in. Dunedin, Buffalo, or anywhere else they may call home this year, they are the early winners in the Matz trade partly because of his success and because we haven’t seen anything from the pieces the Mets got back.
Will the Mets regret trading Steven Matz?
It’s hard to call the Mets losers in the Matz trade anytime soon. They acquired three players for him and even managed to trade one away to acquire minor league outfield prospect Khalil Lee. Matz’s success with the Blue Jays has come as a surprise, in particular following how poorly he pitched for the team in 2020.
Matz was 0-5 with a 9.68 ERA for the Mets last season in 30.2 innings. It was a step in the wrong direction following his very mediocre 2018 and 2019 campaigns. The only real positive takeaways from those seasons were his ability to stay healthy and not completely blow up like he did in 2017.
Matz has done more than simply win games for the Blue Jays. He has just a 1.46 ERA in 12.1 innings with a 0.89 WHIP and a bunch of other fantastic statistics. He has been a completely different pitcher this year. It can’t be just a change of scenery.
If he truly has discovered magic again, expect plenty to want a reunion this offseason when he becomes a free agent.
Catching up with a few other former Mets players
Not every member of the Mets alumni is having a renaissance in a different uniform. Jay Bruce, now with the Yankees, has been played a lot of first base in the Bronx in Luke Voit’s absence. Unfortunately, he’s hitting just .111/.250/.222 with 10 strikeouts in his first 27 at-bats.
A more recent member of the Mets family struggling this season with a new ball club is Michael Wacha. Following an appearance versus the Yankees on Sunday as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, Wacha is now the owner of a 7.00 ERA in nine innings of work. Early thoughts of him reinventing himself with the Rays are climbing into a hole hoping to die.
One guy having a surprisingly strong start is Wilson Ramos. Unpopular with the pitchers in Flushing, he has already cranked four home runs for the Detroit Tigers this season. Together with a .273 batting average, he’s fitting in very nicely in the Motor City.
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The ups and downs of a Major League Baseball season will always have fans questioning past decisions by the front office to let guys leave. We’ll have to wait a little longer to see just how many tears might be worth shedding about letting someone like Matz get away.