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Legends On Deck

Steven Matz Wins MLB Debut With Arm & Stick

Matz Seth Wenig-AP

Seth Wenig/AP

The long-awaited major league debut for the Mets lefty Steven Matz was delayed a bit as the makeup game from Saturday’s rain out was not completed until the Mets won in their last at bat in the 13th inning.

But the wait was worth it as the Long Island native gave the Mets what they needed tossing 7.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts.  The best part of his debut was not only his sterling pitching performance, but his three at bats as he finished 3 for 3, with 4 RBI’s ( First pitcher with 4 RBI in debut).

With his parents, family and friends on hand, Matz started against the Cincinnati Reds and in the first inning Brandon Phillips welcomed him to the majors with a line drive just over the left fence for a home run to put the Reds up 1-0. Matz retired Joey Votto and Todd Frazier before giving up a two-out walk to Jay Bruce. He then struck out Marlon Byrd on an 84 MPH change-up to end the inning.

In the second, Matz retired the side and in the bottom half the Mets took the lead when Matz hit a line drive two run double over the head of center fielder Billy Hamilton scoring Darrell Ceciliani and Eric Campbell.

In the top of the third, Matz continued to shut down the Reds by retiring the side in order, highlighted by a three-pitch strikeout of Votto, finishing him off with a 95 MPH 4-seam fastball.

In the fourth with the Mets still up 2-1, Todd Frazier led off the inning with his 25th home run of the season to tie the game at 2-2. After walking Bruce, Matz got Byrd to fly out and Brayan Pena to hit into a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning.

Matz continued to roll along and in the fifth was able to get out of a jam with a runner on second and one out and got Hamilton on a fly out and Phillips on a pop out to Ruben Tejada at short to end the inning.

The Mets regained the lead for good in the bottom half of the inning, on Curtis Granderson‘s RBI double scoring Campbell with the Mets third run of the game.

As amazing as Matz was on the mound, his bat was scorching hot and in the bottom of the sixth he hit a two run single over the head of Phillips into right center field scoring John Mayberry and Johnny Monell to put the Mets up 5-2. Next Campbell scored after Tejada hit into a double play but the throw to first couldn’t be handled allowing the sixth run to score.

Matz retired six batters in a row from the fifth to sixth before giving up a single to Byrd leading off the seventh inning. Pena singled next and after a coaches visit to the mound, Matz settled down and induced a ground ball double play off the bat of Eugenio Suarez and then struck out Jason Bourgeois to end the threat.

In the top the eighth, Matz got both Hamilton and Ivan De Jesus Jr. to hit into outs, but after walking Votto, manager Terry Collins came out to the mound to replace Matz and walked off the field to a roaring standing ovation. Carlos Torres came in and got Frazier to ground into a force out to end the inning.

Granderson added another run on a two-out single scoring Michael Cuddyer with the seventh and last run of the game for the Mets.

In the ninth, Hansel Robles relieved Torres and quickly gave up a lead off single to Skip Schumaker, but he settled down and retired the next three batters to secure Matz first major league victory.

Top Performers

Mets
Curtis Granderson – 2 for 5, Double, 2 RBI
Johnny Monell – 2 for 4, R
Steven Matz – 3 for 3, Double, 4 RBI
Steven Matz (W, 1-0) – 7.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 K

Reds
Brandon Phillips – 1 for 3, R, RBI
Todd Frazier – 1 for 4, HR (25), RBI

Side Note:

Steven Matz parents discuss his MLB debut:

David Conde

David Conde

Co-Founder/Executive Editor at Legends On Deck®
David is the Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®. He was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com. David's idea forLegends on Deck is to be a site where passionate fans of the game have a place to read about their favorite baseball teams. The site is also for people who had a talent to write or even take photographs and have the platform to share. The passion of following the Minor Leagues can be seen all over the site as the players journey's are what what drives the LOD team to share their content. David's passion is making available a site that people can have fun sharing and reading.

You can also reach out to David at daconde@legendsondeck.com
David Conde