Stony Brook native Steven Matz is set to make his major league debut Sunday, and it’s about damn time.
All the #freematz shtick, all the bickering of watching Jonathan Niese pitch so often, all the anti-Sandy Alderson chants, have finally resulted in something that you, the fans, wanted.
It took a long time for the Long Island native to ingress on the brink of the big show due to many injuries, including Tommy John surgery. But since he resumed pitching professionally in 2012, he has boded his lean, lanky frame with impeccable command, an impressive fastball, and a plus-changeup. In the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, Matz was 7-4 with a 2.19 ERA and a 94/31 strikeout/walk ratio.
He certainly knows how to pitch in the big game. He took the Binghamton Mets to the Eastern League Championship game in 2014, where he took a no-hit bid deep in the clinching game.
“He’s ready to come up and slot himself with the other young guns,” a scout told Newsday this week.
“He attacks the strike zone,” Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, who was also called up to the big leagues this year, said. “He has three plus pitches that he can throw at any time and get results. He’s got lights-out stuff.”
The truth remains a constant (thanks to the transitive law of geometry): The Mets can’t hit, and if you can’t hit you can’t score and if you can’t score, you can’t win.
However, Matz will likely put the Mets into a situation that they have a greater opportunity to win if he’s in the game. Also, if you’re one of those the-season-is-over-and-there’s-nothing-you-can-do-about-it people, then rolling the dice on a young pitcher definitely isn’t the worst thing the Mets can do.
Remember, reverting to a six-man rotation means that once again we will only have to see Niese pitch once every 6-7 days.
And that, in case you can’t tell, is a good thing.
And let me tell you something: from my MiLB.TV subscription, I can tell you that what you’re about to see from Wally Backman’s coveted young lefty is something special.