Zack Wheeler. Matt Harvey. Now Steven Matz. Is he the next former New York Mets pitcher to fall against his former club?
Matz is slated to make his Citi Field return as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays this weekend. It will be his first time pitching against the Mets since the trade that sent him North of the Border this past winter.
Representing a tough Blue Jays squad, it will be a pleasant literal homecoming for the Long Island native.
Mets fans will give Steven Matz the applause he deserves then prepare to send him back to the hotel as a loser
The relationship between Matz and Mets fans was a pretty good one during his tenure in New York. He flashed on the scene at the perfect time in 2015, offering one of the more memorable pitching debuts in recent history. It also helped that he happened to be a local kid who always happened to do and say the right things off the field.
Even when Matz wasn’t pitching well, he seemed to have his share of fans. One of the most charitable members of the organization throughout his Mets career, he will get a well-deserved tribute video before fans remember there’s a lack of orange on his blue uniform.
The only thing that may have helped make Matz’s homecoming a little better would have been a matchup with a particular pitcher. Unfortunately, that guy started on Wednesday for the Mets—Marcus Stroman.
Imagine how much of an attraction that would have been: two Long Island kids pitching in Flushing for teams in pennant races versus their former squads. Instead, things line up for Tylor Megill to take the mound for the Mets.
Although it’s not Matz versus Stroman, Megill does have a few things in common with Matz. He has also arrived mid-year and found some success with the club in a year where the team could potentially end a playoff drought. This one isn’t nearly as long as the suffering from back in 2015 when the club had not been to the playoffs since 2006. Nevertheless, Megill is playing a much bigger role than anticipated for the 2021 Mets.
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Matz may not have had the same peak as Harvey. He also probably falls behind Wheeler on the list of great Mets pitchers. Still, his return to Queens will bring out a few rare cheers for the opposing starting pitcher.