Matz With The Maddux

Steven Matz has been removed from the rotation this year. Coming out of the break, he pitched better, but realistically speaking, no one could have expected to see what he did tonight.

Matz would not allow a hit until a Melky Cabrera one out ground rule double with one out in the fourth. Just like he did when Todd Frazier had a second inning homer, he deftly worked around it.

The Pirates would not get another hit until Jacob Stallings leadoff double in the sixth. This would quickly become a dicey situation. After the opposing pitcher Trevor Williams struck out trying to get down the sacrifice, Kevin Newman would single. Fortunately, Stallings would not get a good read on the ball. Instead of having an opportunity to score, he’d go to third.

Stallings stayed there after Matz induced the inning ending 5-4-3 double play. At that point, it was 0-0 with Williams matching zeroes. Finally, with one out in the sixth, Michael Conforto broke through:

Later that inning, J.D. Davis contributed a two run homer giving the Mets a 3-0. That lead gave Mickey Callaway the leeway to allow Matz to go the distance for the first time in his career.

Matz probably had his best slider in a few years, and he was spotting his change-up well. With the way he had it all working, he entered the ninth allowing just four hits and no walks with six strikeouts.

A Newman single to start the ninth got Edwin Diaz up. While it was good to see him up after getting hit on the foot the other day, it was even better that he wasn’t needed.

On pitch 99, Matz got Josh Bell to ground out to short to end the game. With that, not only did Matz have his first complete game, he would also have a Maddux. He’d strike out seven in his complete game shut out.

This is as good as the Mets have looked all year. With Matz throwing Madduxes out there, we can dream a little of what could be . . . at least for a night.

Game Notes: Dominic Smith was placed on the IL with a broken foot. He was replaced on the roster by Aaron Altherr.

0 Replies to “Matz With The Maddux”

  1. David Klein says:

    When he dominated San Diego and took a no hitter into the 6th or seventh. Matz was tremendous tonight painting the corners and throwing lots of sliders and curves getting over a dozen ground ball outs and throwing his change up in spots. The only inning Matz got in trouble was when there was first and third and he got a double play ground from smelly the rest of the game he was mostly throwing 9-10 pitches an inning. The Pirates were so aggressive and he took advantage. The Mets need Matz to turn into a mid rotation guy with Wheeler soon to be moved and who knows what happens with Thor. The slider is a key pitch for Matz he’s dropped it in the past due to being in pain but if he can throw it while staying healthy there’s still hope for him.

    The offense was non existent besides for Davis, who had a monster night breaking up the no no with a Wright like drive to RF and a game sealing homer and Conforto’s homer. Weird to heard it was Conforto’s first walk in two weeks that should never happen when Conforto is usually so patient. Davis has been a revelation really and looks like a real solid piece if only he could play third base competently.

    All in all good homestand and start to the second half but too little too late still fun to watch.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s funny. We all keep saying too little too late, but no one is running away with this.

  2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    A great start by Matz against a dismal Pirates ballclub that just so happens to have a pretty good offense. Good for Matz.

    Going into 2020 the Mets still need to add either 3 starters to the rotation, or both a #2 and #4 plus some better options in the #6 slot. They also need most of a bullpen, they need a 3Bman, and at least a durable 4th OFer who can play terrific defense in CF. If they had a farm system they should probably deal from it in a package including Rosario to upgrade at SS instead of limping through life with Amed and hoping that in his 4th season he finally turns into a minimally qualified starter at the position. They need to replace at least one of Ramos and Nido, they need to stockpile at least a half dozen replacement level bullpen arms with upside in Syracuse and they need better OFers than the 7 players not named Nimmo, Conforto, and McNeil they’ve sent to the OF so far in 2019.

    Aside from wasting more minor league talent on yet another past-prime CFer, they’ll probably do none of the above. That’s kind of impressive when you think about it.

    Like last offseason, the Mets needs this coming offseason could not be clearer, but the team won’t realize to do even those things that cost them little or no money. The don’t seem to understand the problems. They’ll continue foolishness like keeping Ramos and Nido, and try to get Ramos into 140-145 games while burning him out in the first two months just to try to get a jump in the standings they’ll inevitably pay for later in the year.

    But, good for Matz. Whatever else happens he’ll always have a Saturday night in Queens in late July, 2019 to look back on.

    1. Jeff’s Weaver says:

      I was impressed with his keeping the ball down, less reliance on curve and very serious demeanor after the game. He must have put it a huge amount of work since his demotion?

      It is time to give McNeil s few days off?
      I do not even look up for his ABATS anymore.

      1. metsdaddy says:

        1. In the postgame, they said it was moving to the middle of the rubber.

        2. Yes, he probably needs a day off, but I don’t see him getting it with Dom down.

      2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

        @Jeff’s Matz seemed like a different pitcher. It’ll be interesting to see how the next couple of starts go.

        Good point about McNeil. He hasn’t had a game off since before he played both ends of the June 11th dblheader.
        It’s a lost season, and McNeil has been injury prone over his career. He’s still hitting pretty well (though not for the average he was), but why play a 27 yo in 38 straight games and counting when the games no longer matter, and he’s one of only 3 great players on your club for next season?

        It’s easy to think the ASB is restful, but I hear it’s non-stop friends and family, more travel, and not exactly nap time. Imagine if you have young kids, or a relatively new spouse… Getting back to the games might be more restful.

        1. Gothamist says:

          Not happy w McNeil’s aggressive approach despite the hurler or the hurler’s stuff. Yet, compounding it he is swinging harder, looking for power as if he is decreases his chance of success, they add back the pitcher’s stuff, the league adjusting to him and his first MLB full season I would want to fabricate a pull to just shut him down!!!

          Yes, shut McNeil down!!
          I saw this with Dom Smith hitting .340.
          There must be something wrong if they have a visual coach on the staff, and they do!!!!

    2. metsdaddy says:

      Rosario has turned things around in the second half. Just track him. He’s in the middle of a real breakout.

      1. Blair M. Schirmer says:

        We’ve been here before, as in Mid-September 2018 (see link). This isn’t anything new, unfortunately. It’s that in between his peaks Rosario looks so bad that makes it seem like something’s happening:

        https://www.fangraphs.com/graphs.aspx?playerid=15518&position=SS&statArr=50,61&legend=1,2&split=base&time=game&ymin=&ymax=&dStatArray=&start=2017&end=2019&rtype=mult&gt1=15

        After two-thirds of a season he’s still just a 1.1 fWAR player, a 0.6 bWAR player. By more conventional measures his OPS now is where it was on May 10th, May 29th, and July 17th. From May 30th through July 12th his line was .256/.283/.380 for an OPS of .662 and a BAbip of .294. That’s a very poor 6 weeks. To say he’s turned a corner means betting your opinion on all of 12 games since July 13th–or on the 3 multihit games he’s had in that stretch. I wouldn’t.

        1. Gothamist says:

          The crap about Conforto who hit a 84 mph no break down the middle changeup for a HR tonight …. who is so pitchable by better pitchers, who is overwhelmed, lacks breakaway speed to catch balls and who barely reached the infield on a throw in from the warning track who can not throw on line anymore for he positions his left foot way to far out left with an open body approach on his release point on all his throws = pathetic !!…. what scout would want him for what role? AAAA or AA where it is all fastballs?

          1. metsdaddy says:

            Scouts would want Conforto because he’s a legitimately very good baseball player

          2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

            @Gothamist — Is it fair to evaluate Conforto as a good, but flawed player?

            He’s a 3 win corner OF–there’s nothing wrong with that, but he’s not a core player. Just a good one the Mets control for 2 more years and who they may well deal this offseason since they don’t keep more than 1 good, active player who’s getting expensive and w Boras as his agent Conforto is surely going to free agency.

            Conforto has never had a 4 bWAR season, and so far only has one season of 4 where he was able to stay healthy for more than 440 PAs or where his play warranted more than that.

            To be fair, he’ll probably get close to 600 PAs this year, but that’s still only 2 seasons of 4 where he’s more than a 2/3-time player who has serious injuries on his ledger. He’s also headed for only about a 2.5 bWAR year, in part because the Mets, as always, are playing a player who needs more rest than this, into the ground.

            I happen to like Conforto, but on an authentic contender he’d be clearly just a complementary player. Nobody would still be trying to portray him as a star of some kind.

          3. metsdaddy says:

            Everyone not named Mike Trout is a good but flawed player.

            With Conforto, I’d just note the healthy version of him, the one not fighting shoulder issues or a concussion, his level of play is much higher. That player is an All Star caliber player (or more), not a complimentary player.

          4. Blair M. Schirmer says:

            Conforto’s not “very good.” He’s good, and flawed. “Flawed” isn’t a minor defect in this context, it’s the inability to stay on the field, stay healthy, and play consistently well when he’s present. And when he’s present was only even arguably AS caliber one year in 5. That’s not a very good player by any stretch.

            Thinking Conforto is “very good” is seeing him the way a guy sees his former prom date who’s now threatening 165 lbs, and hangs out on the couch eating donuts. Conforto hasn’t fulfilled his early promise, and he’s not going to. It’s like thinking Rosario is breaking out when he’s just doing all over again what he did last year. Having the inevitable lucky streak when his BAbip closes on .400. This is nothing new.

          5. metsdaddy says:

            Instead of focusing on what you wanted Conforto to be, focus on what he is, and that’s a very good ballplayer.

        2. metsdaddy says:

          Since June 17, he’s at .333/.375/.521. He’s been at a positive DRS over that stretch. He’s also just 23 years old. We’re watching his break out.

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