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Matz Can’t Be Beaten At Citi Field

The Mets chances of the Wild Card may very well be tied to Steven Matz. He is the starter in whom you have the least amount of confidence, and he has the propensity to blow up at any time. We need not look any further than recent history with him shutting out the Pirates in one start followed by his getting knocked out in the fourth in his next start against the very same team.

The interesting thing with Matz is you usually get a good read on what type of day it is going to be from his first inning. Today, he allowed a leadoff single to Jon Berti, and two pitches later, he got Isan Diaz to ground into a double play. When he struck out Brian Anderson to end the inning, you got a good feeling about him on the day.

You had a better feeling about the game when Michael Conforto drew a two out walk in front of Pete Alonso who would then give the Mets a 2-0 lead with a homer off of Marlins starter Jordan Yamamoto.

One interesting development in Alonso’s career is how he has a good month followed by a bad month. Well, Alonso had the worst month of his young career in July. He has turned things around in August homering in three straight games.

While this was a big development in this game, perhaps a bigger one was Matz navigating his way out of trouble in the second. He got himself into trouble with a leadoff walk to Garrett Cooper, and Cooper would score after consecutive singles from Starlin Castro and Lewis Brinson. Matz would catch a break with a Brinson TOOBLAN as he would get caught in a rundown when Alonso cutoff Jeff McNeil‘s throw. That was a gift out.

Todd Frazier would then cut down Castro at the plate on a Harold Ramirez ground ball, and Matz would work his way out of trouble to leave the game at 2-1.

From there, the game was basically all Mets as the Mets batters would put on a power show. Michael Conforto hit the first of his two run homers in the third giving the Mets a 4-1 lead. With that homer, he became the 14th Mets player to hit 100 homers, and he joined Darryl Strawberry and David Wright as the only Mets players younger than 27 to hit that mark.

In addition to Conforto, new puppy owner McNeil would keep is end of his bargain with his wife by hitting another homer.

Going back to Matz, he pitched 6.2 innings allowing just two earned on seven hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Since the All Star Break, he’s 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Better yet, he’s 5-0 at Citi Field. When he is going at least six innings like he has in three of these five starts, you seem him as a very good fifth starter. Really, that’s what the Mets need from him.

They also need this continued good work out of the bullpen. Matz would depart with two outs in the seventh leaving Bryan Holaday at second after a two out double. Justin Wilson came on, and despite allowing a single to Martin Prado, he would get the Mets out of the inning preserving what was then a 4-2 lead.

As noted, Conforto and McNeil would each homer in the seventh expanding that lead to 7-2. That was a safe enough lead for Jeurys Familia, who pitched a scoreless inning even with him allowing a walk. Luis Avilan recorded the final three outs in the ninth with the rain looming to get the Mets the four game sweep of the Marlins.

This win completed a stretch of 16 games against teams with a losing record. The Mets took care of business in that stretch going from nine games under .500 to three games over. They have gone from seven games back in the Wild Card standings to just one game out. Now the hard part begins.

Game Notes: The last time the Mets swept the Marlins in a four game series at Citi Field was April 2015. Once again, the Mets did not trust Chris Mazza or Donnie Hart to preserve a five run ninth inning lead.

7 thoughts on “Matz Can’t Be Beaten At Citi Field”

  1. Julian says:

    Phil Regan needs to keep doing whatever he’s doing! Noah Syndergaard’s slider is sliding again, Matz seems to be more resilient, and Lugo has been terrific. As for Diaz and Familia, I’d say just keep them away from close games and maybe use Lugo as a closer instead?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I think we’re already seeing Lugo transition into a closer role.

      1. David Klein says:

        Hopefully not rather see him as the fireman role that pitches in the 7th or 8th inning sometimes both

        1. metsdaddy says:

          I’m very curious as to how this will Be balanced. Is Lugo a six out save guy in one run games? Is he something else?

  2. David Klein says:

    Matz was solid and even as he struggled in the second inning but the Marlins bailed him out by running the bases like blind crackheads. Matz was very solid after that only throwing his fastball 48% of the time today and leaning on his slider and changeup, which were excellent. Not real sure where this power surge is coming from by McNeil but it’s impressing as he’s got an iso over .300 post all star break. Alonso looks like he’s back and Conforto both set the table in the first and then cleaned it up with two homers and he’s on a homer rampage with seven in the last thirteen games. He looks like the super beast he was in 2017 before the shoulder injury.

    Nice job by Wilson picking up Matz and smart move by Mickey pulling Matz after the double. Wilson has been excellent since returning from the injured list as has Avilan.

    All in all great game as the core position guys are killing it and McNeil, Conforto and Alonso are the best big three since Wright, Reyes and Beltran hope their prime isn’t wasted like those three were.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I like the grouping of those trios. Makes me also think of Piazza-Alfonzo-Ventura and Strawberry-Carter-Hernandez.

  3. Fred’s Rugs says:

    The Mets did what they had to do against the White Sox, Pirates, Marlins etc.
    Give everyone credit,

    I do not know who has a complete pitching staff anymore, Philly lost eight relievers, the Cubs, Brewers and Cards are nothing close to the Braves or Dodgers.

    Let us see about August’s eight games against Atlanta plus the opening three against Wash.

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